Man Sentenced for Death Threats Against Senators
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An Alaska man received a 32-month prison sentence for threatening to assassinate the state’s two U.S. senators.
Jay Allen Johnson, 65, made the threats in a series of profane voicemail messages left at the offices of Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan. The Delta Junction resident was also fined $5,000 and ordered to serve three years of supervised release following his time behind bars.
“Nothing excuses this conduct, threatening our elected officials, an act that attacks our very system of governance,” U.S. Attorney John E. Kuhn Jr. of the District of Alaska said.
“The erosion of civility in our political discourse will never justify threats or acts of violence. Johnson’s actions must be punished, and the Department of Justice will always work to ensure our elected officials can serve without fear of harm.”
Johnson, who pleaded guilty to two counts of threatening to kill a U.S. official in January, is also barred from contacting the senators, their families, or staff members for three years.
“Sadly, political violence of all stripes has become a clear and present danger to public safety and the functioning of our democracy,” the government memo reads.
“The defendant’s conduct showed his rejection of that democracy and his willingness to resort to repeated violent threats when duly elected representatives take actions with which he disagrees.”