Skinhead Headed To Jail Wants Tattoos Removed

By Michael Kaminer

Published July 21, 2010, issue of July 30, 2010.
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A lot of people get second thoughts about tattoos; once you’ve sobered up, that dolphin or “I Love Maria” heart just doesn’t seem as cool. But Daniel Cowart has taken tattoo regret to new extremes. According to The Associated Press, the 21-year-old white supremacist skinhead — who’s awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to federal charges in March — wants to alter the swastika emblazoned on his shoulder, along with the iron cross on his chest, to avoid “unwanted attention” from other inmates.

Cowart pleaded guilty to eight federal charges in a Tennessee court, including a plot to assassinate President Obama and “over 100 black people,” according to The Huffington Post. Along with a 19-year-old accomplice, Cowart was charged in October 2008 with “plotting a robbery and killing spree across several states that was intended to end with the assassination of then-candidate Obama.”

Tattoos aren’t the story’s only bizarre aesthetic twist. “The men planned to wear white tuxedos and top hats during the assassination attempt, which would have involved driving as fast as they could toward Obama and shooting him from the windows of the car,” stated a Reuters report posted on the blog Jewlicious. The blog even joked that the two men had planned to marry as part of their terror spree.

The U.S. Marshals Service was having none of it, and cannily played Cowart’s tattoo-alteration request as “cosmetic surgery.” The Marshals are “wary of setting a precedent whereby they are obligated to devote substantial resources to transporting and escorting inmates between facilities for the purposes of voluntary cosmetic surgery,” according to a statement. The government’s response to Cowart’s request also notes that the Federal Bureau of Prisons takes tattoos into account when assigning inmates.

Cowart’s sentencing is scheduled for August 13. He faces 12 to 18 years in federal prison. And a lot of tattoo-related trouble.


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