Man who threatened to kill Ilhan Omar given lighter sentence after she asks for compassion

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Omar called for compassion in a Twitter post in November: AFP
Omar called for compassion in a Twitter post in November: AFP

A man who threatened the life of Rep. Ilhan Omar has been given a lighter sentence after the politician asked for leniency.

Patrick Carlineo Jr. was sentenced on Friday to 12 months and one day in prison alongside three years of supervised release for threatening to assault and murder a United States official, and for being a felon in possession of firearms, according to The Department of Justice.

Carlineo Jr admitted to making comments about Omar to a member of her staff, including threatening to “put a bullet in her f*****g skull”

The 37-year-old politician asked for leniency with a letter to Hon. Frank P. Geraci Jr. detailing why she doesn’t think long prison sentences are the answer.

Omar, who in 2018 became the first Muslim woman alongside Rashida Tlaib to serve in congress published the full letter to her Twitter in November.

“But we must ask: who are we as a nation if we respond to threats of political retribution with retribution ourselves?” she said.

“The answer to hate is not more hate; it is compassion. 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.”

Mr Carlineo Jr. faced the possibility of up to ten years in prison for the threats made during the phone call, where he reportedly asked the staff member on the phone: “Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she’s a f*****g terrorist,”

The 56-year-old was also found to have more than 1300 rounds of ammunition as well as several guns on his property, according to The Evening Tribune.

He was banned from owning guns in 1998 after he was convicted of felony criminal mischief.

Despite condemning Mr Carlineo Jr.’s threat, Omar called for compassion when dealing with threats of political violence.

“Threats of political violence and hate speech are not unique to Mr. Carlineo. They are an increasing feature in our public sphere. We will not defeat it with anger and exclusion. We will defeat it with compassion.”

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