Two boys, a cross burning, and possible 10 year prison term

Two boys from Kentucky pleaded guilty to lighting a burning cross on the lawn of a black family and throwing bricks through the windows of the family's car.

Matthew Scudder, 18, and James Foster, 19, were arrested for lighting a burning cross and smashing the car windows of a black family on 2 July of this year. Their plan was to cause fear in the family so they would move from the neighborhood. The boys dressed in white hoods, like the Ku Klux Klan, and shouted derogatory comments at the black family.

The boys were arrested and were charged with Federal level hate crimes and violation of the family's civil rights. Had the two boys been charge under state law, they would have been charged with only a misdemeanor carrying less than a one year jail term.

At their trial, the two boys pleaded guilty and sentencing is set for 16 December 2004. The name of the black family was not revealed, and for good reason, they moved in fear for their lives.

America is becoming increasingly intolerant of the actions these two boys committed. If anyone suspects they are the victims of a hate crime, they are urged to contact the police department immediately.

Michael Berglin

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