Justice and the Race Card

Justice is supposed to be blind, but throughout our history it has not always been so.

Gregory Wallace and another man burst into the Kentucky home of Jordan and Tommy Gray and robbed them and their three-year-old daughter at gunpoint. But at Wallace’s sentencing hearing Judge Olu Stevens singled out the Grays, not Wallace, for criticism. Wallace and his partner are black, and the Grays noted in their impact statement their daughter still reacts in fear to black men. Stevens said those remarks offended him and accused the parents of fostering racist behavior in their daughter. He sentenced Wallace to five years probation.

Reason

The judge stated that his remarks regarding race played no role in his sentencing decision, but were the roles reversed, would that argument have traction in the public eye?

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100 thoughts on “Justice and the Race Card

  1. dmarks: Your “reasonable” gun laws… always go after law-abiding citizens.

    I'm not a legislator. None of these proposed laws are “mine”. As for “going after law-abiding citizens”, dmarks supports these people being “gone after” with guns purchased without background checks and robbed and/or murdered with them. Which is a lot worse than minorly inconveniencing someone (if that) with a reasonable regulation. dmarks may laugh about gun violence, but most people take it seriously.

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  2. “Cruel and unusual punishment…”

    No where have I advocated that.

    This piece of trash in the parent item. broke into a house (one felony), burglarized it (another), threatened people with bodily harm or death (more crimes), making illegal use of a weapon (at least one crime). There's probably more.

    Wanting such a man to serve 5 years, instead of what he got (walking free) is by NO standard “cruel” or “unusual”.

    And once again, we see Dervish, who favors punishing law-abiding people, wanting serious criminals to escape justice.

    Well, that answer from Dervish sure canarded the topic up. As expected. Waiting for some reasoned responses from those whom I named.

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  3. CI: …have a little integrity and provide some sort of foundation for these charges.

    Wayne LaPierre Does Not Speak for Most Gun Owners or NRA Members (article excerpt) Nearly three quarters (74 percent) of NRA members supported requiring background checks for all gun sales… This finding corroborates another poll this month by the New York Times and CBS News which found that 85 percent of people in households with an NRA member support universal background checks.

    …62 percent of non-gun owners, and 54 percent of gun owners, support a ban on sem-automatic weapons. …51 percent of gun owners favor a ban on the on-line sale of ammunition… [End excerpt]

    dmarks: Mr. Sanders said that I give strong support for actual gun criminals. …I proposed harsh punishment for them, And he objected.

    I said it because it is true. You stated that you believe gun buyers should not be “hassled” with a BG check. A BG check is only a hassle for someone who could not pass one. And i oppose mandatory minimums beceause they have been shown not to work.

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  4. I don't know why the individual in question received the sentence he did, nor did I say I agreed with it. The “parent post” does not contain enough information for me to reach a conclusion in regards to if it was appropriate or not.

    Also, I'm not a attorney, prosecutor, or judge and therefore trust “my betters” on these matters. Unlike the “armchair” attorney/prosecutor/judge dmarks I trust those with the training and experience to make such decisions.

    dmarks not trusting his betters does not equal me “wanting serious criminals to escape justice”. That is a canard.

    dmarks: …canarded…

    This is not a real word.

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  5. A BG check is only a hassle for someone who could not pass one.

    Yet you are wrong. I pass a background check every time I purchase a firearm, and I consider it a hassle. Unsupportable blanket assertions are intellectually lazy. Why do you rely on them?

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  6. CI: Who's word should I trust on whether or not a BG check is a hassle?

    Someone who has been through them several times?

    Or someone who has never been through one at all?

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  7. Wrong. I did not say I want more evidence. I said I needed more information regarding the evidence that already exists to make up my mind. CI apparently is very eager to impose maximum punishments without knowing all the facts and contrary to what experienced prosecutors and judges determine is appropriate. I expect dmarks to scold CI for his armchair judgements (note: i mean this sarastically as the hypocrite dmarks does not apply his criticisms to those he agrees with politically).

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  8. And on top of that, CI. he wants to burden and punish people who have never been convicted, arrested, or even suspected of a crime without any evidence at all. It's real rich….

    By the way, I find this discussion overall educational. I have learned stuff that those with more knowledge of firearms and law know (like about the head shot). I also learn all the more how empty and illogical the “gun control camp' is.

    The arguments of both you, CI, and Dervish end up making the Constitutional rights, sound public policy, sensible approach look better. Dervish does at least as much damage to the “gun control” case as you do. C.I.

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  9. Wrong. I did not say I want more evidence. I said I needed more information regarding the evidence that already exists to make up my mind.

    Well, you certainly win the convoluted wordplay award of the day. But I understand why you are forced to do so.

    CI apparently is very eager to impose maximum punishments without knowing all the facts and contrary to what experienced prosecutors and judges determine is appropriate.

    I'll wait for you to source where I've made my position known on maximum punishments.

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  10. Mr. Sanders whined again “note: i mean this sarastically as the hypocrite dmarks does not apply his criticisms to those he agrees with politically”

    Life's not fair. Start making sound arguments and you can run with the big dogs.

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  11. “I'll wait for you to source where I've made my position known on maximum punishments.”

    The only “maximum punishment” discussed so far here was the idea that the animal in discussion should have served at least some hard time, instead of walk free. Dervish called this idea “cruel and unusual”.

    It seems pretty clear that he wants actual gun criminals to walk free (from this example) and law-abiding gun owners to be treated as criminals. He pretty much accused me of being a criminal earlier in this discussion when I mentioned taking advantage of legal options to purchase a firearm legally.

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  12. And yes when Mr. Sanders said “CI apparently is very eager to impose maximum punishments”, he is clearly flying off the handle.

    It's clear that CI has indeed never said a thing about it. never answered my question about his view on it (which is fine. if i ask someone a question and they ignore it, I don't whine and make up stuff). My own statements imply support for it, at least to the point where several criminals with multiple violent offenses deserve some punishment by the criminal justice system.

    The way Mr. Sanders is playing it, if he were in traffic court and represented himself as his own attorney, he'd probably end up getting himself convicted of aggravated arson.

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  13. dmarks whined: Life's not fair. Start making sound arguments and you can run with the big dogs.

    The “big dogs” are all hypocrites who dodge and distract when called in their hypocrisy? Obviously this is what dmarks believes. I disagree.

    dmarks: It seems pretty clear that he wants actual gun criminals to walk free.

    BS. This is dmarks whining about me calling him out on his support for allowing criminals to buy guns.

    CI: Well, you certainly win the convoluted wordplay award of the day. But I understand why you are forced to do so.

    I wasn't “forced” to do anything. I pointed out what you said is nonsense. You couldn't refute this so you came up with some “convoluted wordplay” ad hominem to cover up this fact.

    CI: The gun control lobby has always been their own worst enemy.

    The worst enemy of those who seek to curb firearm violence with reasonable gun control measures are the gun manufacturers and the huge sums of money they spend (via their lobbying arm, the NRA) to buy off our legislators and dupe the gullible.

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  14. He did not “walk free”. He received 5 years probation, during which time he could be sent to prison if he violates his parole. And when I refered to “cruel and unusual” I was talking about mandatory minimums and not this specific individual's sentence. But you know that, as I already noted that I do not know if the sentence in question is appropriate. The armchair attorney dmarks disagrees, but I will defer to his betters.

    dmarks: I mentioned taking advantage of legal options to purchase a firearm legally.

    And yet criminals can buy guns at gun shows and through private sales. dmarks argues this is legal, but should it be? If you want criminals to be able to buy guns (like dmarks) you'll say yes.

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  15. Interesting, yes interesting. Someone who claims to be so in favor of democracy, and when we get the actual Constitutional version of democracy (our representative republic), working properly…. and our legislators act to protect our basic rights, they get accused of being “bought off” .

    There's the hypocrisy… democracy is to be defended unless it goes against our personal views. Then the conspiracy theories float to the surface.

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  16. Mr. Sanders said”And yet criminals can buy guns at gun shows and through private sales.”

    And then he continued with a purely imaginary statement:
    “dmarks argues this is legal,”

    There are in fact laws against felons having firearms. Some of there are discussed here: “Top 10 Things to know about Federal Gun Law.

    I am in favor of these laws. I am also opposed to violations of them. Of course! and I have never indicated that I support criminals violating these laws.

    But that didn't stop Mr. Sanders from making the entirely false statement, twice in the above comment, and several times elsewhere, that I support these laws being violated.

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  17. We already have a prison system that resembles the 7th Circle of Hell, and sentencing stiffer than Al Gore on viagra, so I really don't know what the hell more you're asking, dmarks. If anything, our prison system PRODUCES more violent crime than it prevents, so… I think we're already doing what you're asking.

    If you really want to reduce violent crime, or at least having fewer thugs with guns running around out there, STOP SENDING PEOPLE TO PRISON FOR NON-VIOLENT VICTIMLESS OFFENSES. Prison, in this stupid, vengeful, nosy country, is nothing but Violent Criminal University.

    JMJ

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  18. Hey Jersey… I'm on board with ending the “war on drugs”, which would clean out a lot of the prisons and solve a lot of the problems.

    But my being on board with that does not mean I am on board with keeping very dangerous offenders, such as Wallace, who assaulted a little girl, out of prison. Surely you see a difference between drug offenders and men like Wallace?

    And yes, I agree with your ALL CAPS MESSAGE. But the man in discussion here was violent, and had victims.

    Thanks for your good questions…

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  19. PART I of 2: RESPONSES TO CI…

    CI: I should be surprised that someone who's camp has less members total [gun control groups] than the NRA alone…

    Only a minority of US gun owners are members of the NRA.

    CI: And you speak of NRA propaganda… why do you ignore gun control propaganda?

    Because there isn't any to ignore. You refer to proposed reasonable gun control regulations. Factual information to further the argument in favor of using reasonable regulations to save lives isn't “propaganda”.

    CI: I pass a background check every time I purchase a firearm, and I consider it a hassle.

    Yet you are wrong. It is only a minor inconvenience. Worth it because people who should not buy guns are prevented from doing so in background check situations. And you're in the minority on this one, as BG checks receive very high support from the public.

    CI: You don't mind 'free speech zones' right? After all, it's only a minor inconvenience to you and your Constitutional right…

    I support all reasonable regulations on the Bill of Rights, as I previously noted. When speech is directed at inciting, and is likely to incite, imminent lawless action it can be legally restricted. The “free speech zone” concept isn't a reasonable restriction because it restricts speech with no regard to whether or not that speech is directed at inciting.

    CI: I'll wait for you to source where I've made my position known on maximum punishments.

    Source your comment from April 16, 2015 at 12:15 PM in which you say “No question on how it would have ended… one less oxygen thief”.

    Maximum penalty = Death.

    CI: But, you have a track record of not answering to the charges levied against your own camp.

    Give one example.

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  20. PART 2 of 2: RESPONSES TO dmarks…

    dmarks: Someone here defending the right of people to break into someone's home and threaten to murder their daughter(s). Mr. Sanders errs on the side of letting the assailant have their way. Instead of being on the side of the victims.

    No one did this, as such “rights” do not exist. Nor should they. As for resolving a criminal situation without anyone getting killed – YES, I value all human life, unlike those who refer to their fellow humans as “trash” or “oxygen thieves”. The purpose of our criminal justice system is (claimed to be) rehabilitation. Conservative and Libertarian types are obviously interested in killing/retribution only.

    I'm on the “side” of nobody being killed. I do recognize a person's right to defend themselves if there are no other options.

    dmarks: I do defer to those with more knowledge.

    Baloney. You defer only when you agree. The armchair attorney dmarks refused to defer to your betters (the prosecutor and judge who determined what the sentence for Wallace should be).

    dmarks: Instead, we get what CI calls “You point to policies that only affect the law abiding and then attempt to correlate them with criminal acts”.

    I did not “attempt”, I succeeded.

    dmarks: I have never indicated that I support criminals violating these laws. But that didn't stop Mr. Sanders from making the entirely false statement, twice in the above comment.

    What you advocate amounts to the “honor system”. dmarks says trust everyone to be completely honest when asked if they can legally purchase a gun. Not trusting is doing a BG check, and both CI and dmarks have said they “hassle” people to much. My statement was entirely true.

    dmarks: …our legislators act to protect our basic rights, they get accused of being “bought off”.

    Look at who contributes to their campaigns. This is no “conspiracy theory”, it is a part of the public record. This is similar to dmarks' claim above that I view ignorance as a virtue. “Ignorance” is not knowing – it isn't knowing but disagreeing. dmarks is obviously ignorant when it comes to the definition of the word “ignorance”.

    In any case, I'd think that someone who is Libertarian inclined would be against “special interests” lobbying our legislators. But, obviously, they only oppose such influence when those they disagree with do it (and use pejoratives like “big labor” and “union bosses”).

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  21. dmarks: Instead, we get what CI calls “You point to policies that only affect the law abiding and then attempt to correlate them with criminal acts”.

    Above I said I succeeded in doing this, but neglected to point out the fallacy of “policies that only affect the law abiding”. They affect the non law abiding by stopping them from purchasing a gun. The law-abiding are affected in that they are “hassled” by having their permits approved. A terrible outcome, I know… the criminal stopped and the law-abing citizen approved. I can understand your outrage.

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  22. “What you advocate amounts to the “honor system”. dmarks says trust everyone to be completely honest when asked if they can legally purchase a gun”

    The honor system is in the Constitution. Innocent until proven guilty. You, in a distinct contrast, want to punish and harass law abiding citizens without even suspicion thy have done any crime.

    We already knew you hated the Second Amendment. Not surprising that the rest of the Constitution is coming under fire.

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  23. dmarks: The honor system is in the Constitution. Innocent until proven guilty.

    We were not discussing people who are innocent and not proven guilty. We were discussing violent felons buying guns. dmarks trusts them while I do not. Or he thinks it's OK for violent felons to allowed to buy guns. Most people disagree with the dmarks' position.

    We already knew you hated the Second Amendment. Not surprising that the rest of the Constitution is coming under fire.

    You can't “know” something that is not true. As for bogus claims of the Constitution being “under fire” from me, I'm not the one imaging it contains things it does not.

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  24. Only a minority of US gun owners are members of the NRA.

    And? Only a fraction of the number of NRA members belong to gun control groups. I’m not an NRA member. What is your point?

    Because there isn't any to ignore.

    Just tally the examples I've given you, that you've failed to refute.

    Yet you are wrong.

    You fail to understand that you don't get to tell people what inconveniences them. I mean, you can…..but you look foolish.

    Maximum penalty = Death

    You’ve confused self defense with a judicial penalty. Why?

    Give one example.

    The comments section of this blog is rife with examples….pick one that I’ve proffered and refute it. You haven’t had the integrity to do so yet.

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  25. We were not discussing people who are innocent and not proven guilty.

    Wrong, we've been discussing the only people who would be applicable under gun control regulations, the law abiding.

    You can't “know” something that is not true.

    Wrong again. You have stated that you “know” that I am not 'hassled' when undergoing a NICs check when I purchase a firearm. YOU cannot “know” something that is not true.

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  26. I do recognize a person's right to defend themselves if there are no other options.

    So tell me, if an armed intruder enters your home and threatens your family…what is the “reasonable” metric for when you decide there are “no other options”? I'm curious.

    Realizing of course, if you have no means of defending yourself against an armed intruder, your “options” are largely meaningless.

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  27. CI said: ” I would suggest starting with “assault weapons”. Please.”

    I will know that someone has started to get serious about learning, discussing, debating, when they stop using the “assault weapons” term. which only proves ones ignorance about firearms (as i said before, similar to bringing dragons to a serious discussion of paleobiology)

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  28. CI said: “Wrong again. You have stated that you “know” that I am not 'hassled' when undergoing a NICs check when I purchase a firearm. YOU cannot “know” something that is not true.”

    This again? And how can anyone expect to believe the word of someone with an irrational phobia over guns who has never undergone a BG check, over someone who has gone through several…

    Dervish is once again an expert in matters he is proud to have no knowledge of.

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  29. CI said: “Realizing of course, if you have no means of defending yourself against an armed intruder, your “options” are largely meaningless.”

    Exactly.. .and someone's policies here would leave the criminals well armed (and running loose right after committing a violent crime, as per this example in the post) while law-abiding citizens would be harassed with many different un-“reasonable” laws designed by the government to punish people who did not wrong for daring to have guns.

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  30. CI said: “So you believe that private transactions …”

    It appears to be the case. Remember Mr. Sander's claim that I had criminal intent, if i were going to purchase a firearm using one of two different legal means to do so. So much of Mr. Sanders argument here is based on the urge to have government act on an automatic assumption of guilt for everyone.

    Why else would he advocate laws that punished everyone, and not just criminals. If he actually advocated something that only went after criminals (and followed the due process of the Constitution… unlike everything else he wants), he might actually, for the very first time, be advocating “Reasonable” gun laws.

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  31. CI At least as bad is his disrespect for our rights and liberties, so often to the point where if he doesn't like it personally, it must be outlawed.

    To be honest I don't own any firearms. However, CI, I don't know your life. You do. I respect your own right to make informed choices to own weapons, as per the Bill of Rights. (As an aside, I welcome learning more about this matter, and if I am corrected on something I am wrong on, like headshots, I won't have a tantrum).

    I also respect Dervish's right (based on gross ignorance and phobias as it were) to never own any. I suspect you have no problem with him exercising that right also.

    There's only one of these three sides, represented by the individuals named above in this comment, that is intrusive, megalomaniac, and with a childish arrogance that his opinion must be forced on everyone by law. Any guesses?

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  32. CI: …with Dervish it's the childish pomposity to state what others believe.

    If you say so. Although dmarks does this and you say nothing (see below).

    dmarks: …Dervish's right (based on gross ignorance and phobias as it were) to never own any. …intrusive, megalomaniac, and with a childish arrogance that his opinion must be forced on everyone by law.

    I have no “arrogance” or “megalomania” that causes me to want my opinion “forced” on anyone. I simply believe reasonable gun regulation will save lives as such regulations have in other countries. I also acknowledge law-abiding citizens have the right to own a gun and the right to defend themselves. As the SCOTUS has affirmed.

    My preference would be a compromise between those who concentrate on gun owners rights and those who think reasonable regulations would save lives. But I am a realist who realizes this will likely not happen due to the money on the other side (gun manufacturers and NRA) plus the unwillingness of gun owners/adherants to compromise (people like CI and dmarks). This does not change my opinion, however (an opinion not based on ignorance).

    It doesn't surprise me, however, that the gun nut camp views a desire for compromise in order to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals and save lives as “megalomania”. You're attempting to browbeat people into accepting your position instead of respectfully accepting someone might have an opinion that differs from yours without the name calling. There is no need for it since your side is winning anyway.

    And, no, I do not believe my use of the term “gun nut” to be name calling. You live up to it reference to “disrespect for our rights and liberties” that does not exist. dmarks is the perfect example of childish gun nut who stamps his feet and whines and complains simply because someone expresses an opinion that differs from his own. He's getting exactly what he wants, but it isn't good enough. He DEMANDS anyone who disagrees shut the hell up.

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  33. CI: we've been discussing the only people who would be applicable under gun control regulations, the law abiding.

    Well, OF COURSE you only wish to discuss these people – and ignore that people who shouldn't be buying them can under the system you favor. Just like you ignored the fact that that Indiana “religious freedom” law may enable discrimination. Because your megalomania causes you to only be concerned about your own rights. Even if exercising your rights infringes on the rights of others.

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  34. CI: …if you have no means of defending yourself…

    Hide or run away.

    dmarks: …someone's policies here would leave the criminals well armed…

    Exactly. Someone = dmarks.

    dmarks: …running loose right after committing a violent crime, as per this example.

    The “example” you refer to concerns s prosecutor and judge (dmarks' betters) deciding on a sentence. People with the education and experience that qualifies them to make such decisions. Unlike the armchair attorney dmarks.

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  35. I have no problem with stiff sentencing for violent criminal offense. I would, however, like to see serious reform of our penal system. If anything, I would imagine the non-violent guys are somewhat positive influence on the violent guys. Take them out and the violent guys will have only the other violent guys and man 'o man will we have uber-violent dudes after that!

    JMJ

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  36. One simple question for you, should you have the integrity to answer it [I've not ever received an answer to this question from anyone on the gun control camp]:

    What is the compromise on behalf of the gun control camp? The 2nd Amendment has already been more infringed upon than any other Constitutionally enumerated right, and to levels that those in the gun control camp would not remotely accept in regards to any other right.

    Where is, and where has been, your compromise?

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  37. Mr. Sanders said: “He DEMANDS anyone who disagrees shut the hell up.”

    Not at all. It would just be better if your political views favored allowing law-abiding citizens like CI to live their life unhindered. If you can stop gun criminals without affecting him one bit, that would be great. I don't want you to “shut up”, but it sure would be nice if your political views weren't all about forcing your own personal preferences on everyone in the country.

    “It doesn't surprise me, however, that the gun nut camp views a desire for compromise in order to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals”

    It would not surprise me if your side, and the Constitutional side (which you continue to use the lowbrow smear “gun nut”) both want guns out of the hands of violent criminals.

    However, there is a huge difference when it comes to law-abiding citizens. Your side wants to punish, hinder and deny the rights of them as well.

    I'm all for solutions that only go after the bad guys. I strongly oppose solutions that go after people who have not done anyting wrong.

    Like

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