It’s been a while since we’ve heard that name… For those unaware, Dennis Markuze is the Montreal resident who was infamous for making death threats to atheists online as well as spouting crazy rants, using a variety of pseudonyms and a seemingly endless supply of Twitter/Facebook handles. If you blogged or tweeted about atheism — or even commented on sites about it — you were likely one of his “victims.”
Last year, thanks to pushback from a number of threat recipients, authorities finally arrested Markuze. (You should all read Tim Farley‘s extensively detailed account of how this all went down.)
That was back in August.
So what’s happening now?
After pleading guilty to charges of making the threats — and after months spent in drug/alcohol rehab — Markuze has received a suspended sentence of only 18-months. What does that mean? I’m not exactly sure. Only that he must refrain from “participating in a social network, blog and discussion forum.”
One of the counsellors at the rehab center seems uncertain of Markuze’s “recovery”:
“Since the therapy team at (Freedom House) does not have the competence necessary to make a psychiatric diagnosis, it seems to us that (Markuze) absolutely needs a follow up after he leaves the centre,” [Clement] Proulx wrote.“He sometimes makes remarks that leave us perplexed.”
The people responsible for bringing Markuze’s case to the police in the first place aren’t happy with the judge’s decision:
William Raillant-Clark, a Montreal resident who was one of the people Markuze threatened, said he is disappointed by how the case was handled. He said he was advised of the plea bargain after it was made. He said he received a letter advising him of the sentence a couple of days ago and that it contained very little information. It made no mention of the condition Markuze is required to follow, he said.
“(The Crown) had no contact with me whatsoever. It makes you wonder what (the justice system) is all about,” Raillant-Clark said. “I’m extremely annoyed and insulted by this.”
Raillant-Clark and Tim Farley, a resident of Atlanta who was threatened by Markuze “for three or four years” said they believe Markuze resumed his anti-atheist postings even before he was sentenced. Waxman said on Friday that he asked Markuze about the allegation and said his client denied it.
“He said he only uses a computer for work,” Waxman said.
On the upside, if Markuze returns to his old ways, it’ll be easy to catch him and send him back to prison or rehab. (Hopefully, before he takes any action on his threats…) Authorities are on to him now and it’s up to Markuze to get his life back in order.
(Thanks to GodlessPoutine for the link)