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Illinois Man Ordered To Write Lynching Essay

CHICAGO, (UPI) — An Illinois man who put a noose around the neck of an African-American teenager has been ordered to write an essay about lynching, officials say.

Matthew Hermann, 20, had pleaded guilty in October to misdemeanor battery on Joshua Merritt in December 2011, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

At the time of his plea, Hermann also agreed to participate in a “peacemaking circle” with the victim, his family, clergy and school counselors.

In handing down the sentence usually reserved for juvenile proceedings, Judge James Linn also sentenced Hermann to two years’ probation.

Prosecutors said Hermann and two juvenile friends put a noose around the neck of the then-17-year-old Merritt and hurled racial epithets at him because of his friendship with one of the boy’s female cousins. Merritt ran outside but was followed by one of the boys, who held a knife against his throat.

One of the boys pleaded guilty to battery and was sentenced to two years’ probation. The third teenager is due in court next week.

After the hearing, Hermann said there had not been a racial motive in the attack, adding he still sees Merritt occasionally at the community college where they both attend class.

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  • CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    OBVIOUSLY, Judge James Linn FELT POLITICAL PRESSURE FROM THE NEGRO COMMUNITY OF CHICAGO – OTHERWISE, HE WOULD HAVE DISMISSED THIS CASE. TO SENTENCE, Matthew Hermann, TO TWO YEARS OF PROBATION, A WRITING EXERCISE AND A”LOVE-IN” WITH NEGROES AND SYMPATHETIC CAUCASIANS INDICATES Judge Linn CONSIDERS THE INCIDENT TO BE, “YOUTHFUL EXUBERANCE.”

    Matthew’s LAST NAME, “Hermann,” SIGNIFIES HE IS OF GERMANIC HERITAGE; THEREFORE, HIS VIEW OF INTERRACIAL RELATIONSHIPS IS NOT SURPRISING. SINCE Mr. Hermann IS TWENTY-YEARS OLD, THIS INCIDENT SEEMS TO BE A “TEST-RUN” FOR MORE MATURE DEALINGS WITH NEGROES. SURELY, NO ONE BELIEVES HIS IDEOLOGY WILL CHANGE.

    EITHER, Judge Linn IS SENDING A SUBLIMINAL MESSAGE INDICATING WHOSE “SIDE” HE IS ON [IN REFERENCE TO FUTURE CASES], OR, HE IS READY TO LEAVE THE BENCH AND WANTED TO EXPRESS HIMSELF.

  • Harold Olsen

    One thing the ariticle did not mention. Does the lynching essay have to bde anti-lynching or pro-lynching? Or is it being left up to Hermann?

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