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D.C. man sentenced to 7 years in anti-gay stabbing

Attackers used anti-gay slurs during June 2012 stabbing outside of the Howard Theatre

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Howard Theatre, gay news, Washington Blade
Howard Theater, gay news, Washington Blade

Attackers called 16-year-old victim anti-gay names in a 2012 stabbing outside the Howard Theatre. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A D.C. Superior Court judge on June 28 sentenced District resident Ali Jackson, 20, to seven-and-a-half years in prison for the June 2012 stabbing of a 16-year-old gay male outside the city’s Howard Theatre.

A statement released by the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia says prosecutors classified the incident as a hate crime based on evidence that Jackson made threatening statements and anti-gay slurs at the time of the attack.

“Violence fueled by hate tears at the fabric of our society,” said U.S. Attorney for D.C. Ronald Machen in the statement. “As this prison sentence demonstrates, in the District of Columbia, we have zero tolerance for violent crimes driven by ignorant prejudice.”

Jackson pled guilty in January to a charge of assault with intent to kill in connection with the stabbing incident. The sentence handed down against him on June 28 by Judge Patricia Broderick came after two others involved in the incident pled guilty in March to a charge of simple assault.

Police and prosecutors said Ali Jackson’s sister, Alvonica Jackson, 26, and her boyfriend, Desmond Campbell, 34, held the victim by his arms and neck, preventing him from fleeing as Ali Jackson stabbed him with a knife three times – in the left arm, the left side of his back, and the left leg. Alvonica Jackson and Campbell also hurled slurs at the victim during the attack, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office statement.

Alvonica Jackson was sentenced earlier this year to 360 days of incarceration with all but 30 days suspended. She had also been charged with second-degree theft for stealing money at the Howard Theatre. Campbell was sentenced to 180 days in jail with all but 30 days suspended. The suspended part of the sentences for both is contingent on their complying with the terms of two years of probation following their release from jail, to which they were also sentenced.

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Baltimore

Carlton R. Smith: LGBTQ advocate, ‘mayor’ of Mount Vernon, passes away

‘The Duchess’ died on May 29 in his sleep

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Carlton R. Smith, an LGBTQ advocate, died May 29. He was 61. (Photo courtesy of Carlton R. Smith)

BY JOHN-JOHN WILLIAMS IV | Carlton R. Smith was affectionately called “The Duchess” in a nod to royalty, because of his unofficial role of mayor of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. He was a “walking billboard” for Calvin Klein, with a love for purple, Batman, cooking, house music, Prince, and Diana Ross.

“If you said Duchess, you knew who that was,” said his close friend of 25-years, Carrietta Hiers.

The rest of this article can be found on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Maryland

Moore pardons more than 175,000-plus cannabis-related convictions

Governor signed executive order at State House on Monday

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Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (Public domain photo/Twitter)

BY BRENDA WINTRODE and PAMELA WOOD | Gov. Wes Moore pardoned more than 175,000 cannabis-related convictions Monday, nullifying guilty verdicts decided when carrying small amounts of the drug or paraphernalia was illegal.

The Democratic governor signed an executive order during a State House ceremony, granting clemency to thousands of people convicted in Maryland. The convictions to be pardoned include more than 150,000 misdemeanors for simple possession and more than 18,000 for possession of drug paraphernalia with an intent to use.

The rest of this article can be read on the Baltimore Banner’s website.

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Local

Blade wins multiple journalism awards

Society of Professional Journalists recognizes writing, design work

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The D.C. chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists honored the work of the Washington Blade at its annual Dateline Awards dinner last week.

The Blade took top honors in the weekly newspaper editorial/opinion writing category for a piece by Michael Lavers, the Blade’s international news editor, titled, “Bearing witness to the unimaginable,” which recounted watching raw footage of Hamas’s attack against Israel on Oct. 7.

In it, Lavers wrote, “The Israeli government clearly wants the world to understand the barbarity of what happened on Oct. 7, and that is why it has shown footage of that horrific Saturday to journalists and lawmakers. The footage left me deeply shaken, and perhaps that was the point.”

Washington Blade graphic designer Meaghan Juba won the Dateline Award for front-page design in the weekly newspaper category.

And in the weekly newspaper-features category, the Blade’s Kathi Wolfe was recognized as a finalist for her piece titled, “Meet one of the most powerful disabled people on the planet.”

“These awards reflect our 55-year commitment to journalistic excellence,” said Blade Editor Kevin Naff. “Congratulations to our team for another year of award-winning journalism.”

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