Arson Case Near Erie PA Prosecuted Under Federal Hate Crime Laws

Filed in Gather News Channel by on September 20, 2010 0 Comments

An arson case near Erie, PA is now a federal hate crime. The Ohio man accused of setting the fire has officially been indicted on federal hate crime charges.

Ronald Pudder, 23, was indicted on two felony counts of damaging the church because of bias as well as arson. The church that Pudder is accused of setting fire to is the First Azusa Apostolic Faith Church of God located between Cleveland and Erie, PA. The church is the town’s only black church.

Hate Crimes are Cancer of the Soul

The hate crime charges are an effort to help prevent copycat crimes. It is especially important with such debate over religion and practicing it freely in the U.S. right now. It is easy for certain aspects of the debate to cross the line into a hate crime.

This is ridiculous that anyone would set fire to a church for any reason. It is especially egregious that somebody would set fire to a church because of the color of the congregation’s skin. This arson case needs to be prosecuted as a hate crime, and hopefully Pudder is appropriately punished.

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