A Pennsylvania judge was so outraged by the inexcusable crime of a white supremacist that he exceeded the sentence that prosecutors requested.
Judge Patrick Carmody sentenced 25-year-old George Rissell on Wednesday to serve seven to 14 years in prison after he was convicted of spray-painting racist graffiti, including swastikas and racial slurs, in several locations near Philadelphia in August, WPVI-TV reported.
Carmody sentenced him beyond the five-to-11 year term that the prosecutor sought for his ethnic intimidation and criminal mischief convictions.
“Being drunk doesn’t excuse being racist,” the judge told Rissell, whom investigators said admitted to associating with white supremacy groups. Carmody chastised him of trying to scare people and instigating violence.
The vandalism happened shortly after white nationalist groups held a violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August. There’s speculation that the event may have inspired Rissell.
Unlike Rissell, many of the white supremacists who assaulted peaceful counter-protesters received little or no punishment for their crimes.
“Charlottesville is teaching a dangerous lesson to its citizens and to the many other cities and towns under threat from violent white nationalists,” Kendall Bills wrote in Time. “I was called by God and my church to stand in the streets of my hometown to reject racism that day. Instead, I was sucker-punched by a grown man.”
Even when there’s documented evidence, some white supremacists, like neo-Nazi member of the U.S. Marine Corps Vasillios Pistolis, received just a slap on the wrist. Pictures showing Pistolis swinging a club surfaced, and the Marine boasted on social media that he “cracked three skulls open” in Charlottesville. A military court sentenced him in June to only 30 days confinement. Meanwhile, civilian officials looked the other way, deciding not to pursue charges against the 19-year-old Marine.
Rissell apologized in court, shifting the blame to white supremacists who indoctrinated him while he was previously incarcerated. The judge, however, didn’t buy that excuse.