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Originally published Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 3:32 PM

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A cell door closes on UW's 2001 arson after a laudable pursuit of justice

The firebombing of a University of Washington research facility comes to a close after a decade of hard work by federal investigators.

Seattle Times Editorial

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I'm glad that the arsonist was convicted; important research was destroyed, and people... MORE
How anybody who purports to care about the environment could burn down the horticulture... MORE
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THE tenacity of federal investigators and prosecutors has brought the May 2001 arson case at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture to a close. The crime deserved the attention it received.

Justin Solondz, who built the firebomb that caused more than $40 million damage to the research facility, will be sentenced to seven years in federal prison. The young man, who screwed up early and often, will still have the opportunity to restart his life at 40.

Federal authorities spent years parsing through the radical environmental groups — eco-terrorists, no less — behind the UW crime and others in the West. The arrogance of the perpetrators was as astounding as their lawless behavior.

The arsonists were lucky their UW property destruction did not claim an innocent life. They were oblivious. One hopes they finally got the message.

The struggle to rebuild the center was its own tenacious triumph.

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