Pussy Riot Members Sentenced to Prison for "Hooliganism," Dissing of Vladimir Putin

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In America, Dave Mustaine can claim President Barack Obama orchestrated the killing of a dozen people in Colorado and simply receive mockery and anger over the Internet.

In Russia? Well...

A Moscow judge has sentenced the members of Pussy Riot to two years in prison because the group sang a "punk prayer" in the city's main cathedral earlier this year, dancing and marching around while asking the Virgin Mary to save Russia from Vladimir Putin, who was elected to a third term as the nation's leader two weeks later.

Despite protests around the world from international rights group - and outcries from artists such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Madonna - Judge Marina Syrova explained in her verdict that the three musicians "committed hooliganism driven by religious hatred."

Pussy Riot members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich were handcuffed inside a glass courtroom cage as the verdict was read, helpless while prosecution witnesses accused them of sacrilege and "devilish dances" in church.

Putin himself has said the artists should receive a light sentence, while Amnesty International has already condemned the court's ruling as "bitter blow" for freedom of expression in Russia.

We're suddenly happier than ever that we reside in America, even if photos of Paul Ryan shirtless get more attention these days than the Vice Presidential candidate's economic plan.

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