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United States v. Magleby
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
241 F.3d 1306 (2001)
Michael Brad Magleby (defendant) was a racist who was hosting a party for some of his like-minded friends. After telling each other racist jokes and looking at hate-group sites on Magleby’s computer, Magleby began complaining about some Polynesian Americans of Tongan descent who lived in his neighborhood. Magleby and a minor at the party, L.M., speculated that they should burn a cross on the Polynesian Americans’ lawn. After several more hours, Magleby and L.M. built a wooden cross, put the cross in Magleby’s car, drove to a gas station to get gasoline, and then drove to the intended victims’ house. Because there were men on the lawn outside the house, Magleby and L.M. did not burn the cross there. L.M. and Magleby drove instead to the Henry family’s house, who were an interracial family composed of a Black father, a White mother, and their 11-year-old son. Magleby and L.M. set the cross on the Henrys’ lawn, doused it in gasoline, and set it alight. Magleby was charged with various crimes for the cross burning, including conspiracy against constitutional rights in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 241. At trial, the Henrys testified that they were terrified by the cross-burning incident and felt that it was a racially motivated attack intended to intimidate and threaten them. Magleby was convicted on all counts and appealed, filing a motion requesting a judgment of acquittal for the § 241 conviction.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Tacha, C.J.)
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