As leftists are free to torch U.S. flags across the nation, an Iowa man is paying a heavy price for burning a rainbow LGBT pride flag.
Adolfo Martinez of Ames was sentenced Dec. 18 to a whopping 15 years in prison for the hate crime of arson, according to The Associated Press, after his five-year sentence was tripled due to his status as a habitual offender.
Martinez had previously been convicted of two felonies, details of which were not immediately available, and was thus considered a habitual offender as regards his sentencing.
In addition to spending a decade and a half in prison for burning the LGBT flag, the 30-year-old Martinez also will be serving an additional year for his use of fire and 30 days for harassment.
Martinez was arrested in June after taking the rainbow flag from the United Church of Christ in Ames.
The act was considered a hate crime because the flag represents a sexual orientation.
Shockingly, the same charges don’t seem to stick to those who burn the red, white and blue flag of the United States.
As the Iowa City Press-Citizen reported in 2017, protesters there were able to not only burn multiple American flags but insult the very country that guaranteed them the freedom to do so without being persecuted.
“When I see the flag, I see racial injustice,” one protester said. “I see social injustice from Native American genocide to African-American slavery to failing to recognize women as citizens until the 20th century.”
Video of the 2017 flag burning can be seen below.
Despite burning multiple flags using fire, only two of those protesters faced misdemeanor charges.
For Martinez, however, his actions will haunt him for the rest of his life. After spending 16 years in prison, he will have to explain a hate crime charge to any prospective employers.
This lopsided definition of hate crime appears to be the new normal in many places in America.
Earlier this month, Florida prosecutors declined to pursue hate crime charges after a young boy was viciously ganged up on and beaten, reportedly over his support of President Donald Trump.
Meanwhile, accusations of hate crimes can even be thrown at people for what they refuse to do.
One man was accused of committing one of these cardinal social sins after refusing to have sex with a man who claimed to be a woman.
While it’s never OK to destroy others’ property, it seems Martinez’s punishment is incredibly harsh considering how other flag burners are able to get away with their crimes against the symbol of America itself.
CORRECTION, Dec. 23, 2019: This commentary has been edited to include the fact that Adolfo Martinez’s sentence, which seems unusually long for the crimes of which he was found guilty, was in fact unusually long for the crimes of which he was found guilty. This is due to Martinez’s past convictions for two felonies, which under an Iowa habitual offender law led to his five-year sentence being tripled. We apologize for omitting this important information in our original commentary.
CORRECTION, Jan. 17, 2019: In addition to the above, it was later brought to our attention that two of the individuals who burned the American flag, who we wrote “didn’t even get a slap on the wrist,” did, in fact, receive charges for violating the city’s law against public burning, a “misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail or a fine of up to $625,” according to the Press-Citizen. We have edited that sentence in the commentary and apologize for this error as well.
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