James Jackson appears in court for a conviction in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2019. Jackson, a white supremacist, pleaded guilty to the killing of a black man with a sword, as part of a racist plot that prosecutors described as a hate crime and was sentenced to life without parole. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
NEW YORK – A white supremacist who is the life of a black man with a sword wanted to ignite a worldwide race war, a prosecutor told a judge, who sentenced the man Wednesday to life in prison without parole.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance read excerpts of James Jackson’s hate-filled manifesto as he rejected the “horror of his actions” when he fatal 66-year-old Timothy Caughman in March 2017, after stalking a number of black men in New York City.
“James Jackson is a white supremacist and a terrorist,” Vance said of the Baltimore men and veterans who served in Afghanistan.
Given a chance to speak, Jackson, who is white, said he wanted to apologize for the “terrible and unnecessary tragedy.”
“It never should have happened,” he added. “And if I could it all over again, this would never have happened, that’s for sure.”
State Supreme Court Justice Laura Ward kept her short explanation.
“You killed a man, simply and solely because he was black,” she said. “And there is no excuse for your actions.”
Richard Peek, a cousin of the victim, who spoke for the family, read an “open letter to a murderer” in court, saying: “a cruel man intolerance many people world on its head.”
Caughman, who was remembered as a gentleman and a good neighbor, was attacked while collecting bottles for recycling.
Jackson, 30, told the police that he traveled from Baltimore to perform the attack, because New York is the media capital of the world. He said that the killing was intended to be the practice for further attacks on black people.
Vance said Jackson’s manifesto was on a digital storage drive recovered after his arrest. The prosecutor said he did not want to make it as a whole to prevent the spreading of the hateful content. But he wanted to be a part of it on the plate for the first time.
“The racial world war begins today,” Vance said, reading from the manifest.
He said Jackson called up for military and biological warfare aimed at the “extermination” of black people and urged the authorities in the United Kingdom, China and Russia to get involved.
Vance lamented that American law enforcement has been slow in acknowledging the problem of white supremacism, and has sometimes minimized.
“We have too often treated these crimes as something less than the other kinds of terrorism, and thus we have risked normalising this kind of behaviour,” he said.
He asked the judge to send a message to other would-be terrorists.”
Jackson’s lawyer, Frederick Sosinsky, said his client had marched with family members to protest against racial injustice, served with honor in addition to blacks in the army, and had never committed a crime before “the worst day of his life.”
“His lost soul and broken spirit allowed him to act as he had never acted before,” Sosinsky said.
Outside the court, Vance said Jackson’s worldwide plan was “devilish and cruel.”
“He came to New York in the hope of inciting a race war that would pit New York against New Yorkers, and eventually blacks and whites against each other all over the world,” he said.