Doggart – not a ‘true threat’?

Here’s some background to this story about a pastor and former congressional candidate who plotted a murderous attack against a Muslim community near Hancock, N.Y..  He pleaded guilty and faces up to five years in prison.  Now a judge has decided that he does not represent a ‘true threat’ and can be released on bail until his case is decided:

“(The government) has not shown by clear and convincing evidence defendant’s release would pose an unreasonable danger to the community or any particular individual,” Collier ruled.

A federal magistrate then reversed her earlier ruling and allowed the 63-year-old Doggart to go free until the case is resolved.

The government believes Doggart is a true threat – and so, apparently, do his defence attorneys.  He tried to recruit others to help him carrying out his plan of massacring Muslims.

“We’re gonna be carrying an M4 with 500 rounds of ammunition, light armor piercing. A pistol with three extra magazines, and a machete. And if it gets down to the machete, we will cut them to shreds”

The decision to release him seems partly to hinge on assurances he is no longer taking prescription pain medication or drinking alcohol. But it must be difficult to prove for certain that drink and drugs alone fuelled his plot or that his views and intentions will necessarily be different now he is no longer taking them.