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White man gets 9 years for burning down an African-American church

A white man was sentenced today to nine years in prison for burning down a predominately African-American church in Springfield, Mass., the day after Barack Obama won the presidential election.

Benjamin Haskell, 24, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael A. Ponsor in Springfield for the 2008 burning of the Macedonia Church of God in Christ. The predominately African-American church was under construction and 75 percent complete when it was torched, the Justice Department said.

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23 year old pleads guilt to torching Black Church

A 23-year-old Springfield man pleaded guilty yesterday to torching a predominantly black church in November 2008, a crime that prosecutors said was motivated by racial hatred over Barack Obama’s election hours earlier.