AP reports from Knoxville, Tennessee:
Prosecutors say a Tennessee man has been sentenced to six months in federal prison for burning a wooden cross at the Anderson County home of an interracial couple.In a pair of cases decided in 2003, the US Supreme Court held that cross-burning was protected "speech" when a cross was burned at a Klan rally, not directed at anyone in particular, but it can be proscribed and punished when it is a threat. The opinion in Virginia v. Black is here. CJLF's brief in that case (mainly on the joined Elliott/O'Mara case) is here.
U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Phillips handed down the sentence to 50-year-old Steven D. Archer of Heiskell, Tenn., on Friday after his conviction last July of willfully interfering with the couple's federal housing rights because of their race. The couple lived in a home on his family's property.