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Man Who Threatened Representative Omar Is Not Going To Have To Take Classes, Court Decides

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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion


Democrat Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar just got a tough lesson that most people learn when they are children. You cannot get what you want every time.

In March of 2020 Patrick Carlineo was convicted of threatening to shoot the representative. A reprehensible action for which he was sentenced to one year in prison, The Evening Tribune reported.

“Carlineo made the threatening call to retaliate against Congresswoman Omar based on her performance of her official duties,” federal prosecutors said after he was sentenced. “Because he hates individuals he views as radical Muslims being in the United States government, he believed that Congresswoman Omar supports Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and that Congresswoman Omar’s election to the United States Congress was illegitimate.”

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It was not the first time Carlineo had threatened a woman and, in the past, he had acted on some of his threats, prosecutors said.

“It is notable that such conviction involved harassing and threatening telephone calls made by the defendant to a female, which ended with the defendant destroying a boat and trailer belonging to the female by arson,” officials said. “The defendant initially received a sentence of probation for that conviction, but violated probation three times and was ultimately re-sentenced to one year in jail. The defendant also has a [second-degree aggravated harassment] conviction from 2000, which involved harassing telephone calls made by the defendant to his ex-wife.”

“While these convictions are from some time ago, it is apparent that – more than 20 years later – the defendant (who is now 56 years old) has failed to learn or chosen to disregard a simple lesson: that making harassing and threatening telephone calls is an unacceptable way to deal with frustration, rage and resentment,” prosecutors said.

The representative actually called for leniency for Carlineo, but she also wanted to add another part to his sentence.

“The answer to hate is not more hate; it is compassion,” she said. “Punishing the defendant with a lengthy prison sentence or a burdensome financial fine would not rehabilitate him. It would not repair the harm he has caused. It would only increase his anger and resentment.”

She asked for Judge Frank Geraci to enact “restorative justice” for the defendant. “He should understand the consequences of his actions, be given the opportunity to make amends and seek redemption,” she said.

Part of the sentence he received would have had him take a class that would allow him “to listen to stories about Muslim refugees or people who suffered from violence (for) being Muslim.”

But the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said that the sentence was too vague and that it could give too much power to probation officers to enforce it which is why they nixed it, The Associated Press reported.

In early March, Carlineo was freed after completing a one-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in late 2019 in Rochester federal court to threatening to kill the Democrat and a weapons charge.

Prosecutors said Carlineo called Omar’s Washington office in March 2019, when a member of her staff recalled him calling her a terrorist and saying somebody “ought to put a bullet in her skull.” Authorities said Carlineo also threatened to do so.

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His sentence required him to participate after his prison term in a program that would allow Carlineo “to listen to stories about Muslim refugees or people who suffered from violence (for) being Muslim.”

But the appeals panel said the special condition was vague and impermissibly delegated authority to probation authorities to dictate the terms of the sentence.

The resident of Rathbone, a rural Steuben County town 100 miles south of Rochester, received support prior to sentencing from Omar, a Somali refugee who is one of the first Muslim women to be elected to serve in Congress.

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