Arizona frees hate-plotter over governors objections

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

PHOENIX — Michael Bloom, who plotted to blow up black churches and Jewish facilities in Arizona a decade ago, has been released from state prison to home arrest.

Bloom was released last week from a minimum security facility in Yuma.

The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency authorized Bloom's release July 20 over the objections of Gov. Jane Hull and the Anti-Defamation League.

"I pray he has changed, but I question his espoused transformation, and I prefer to err on the side of protecting the voices of children that he so violently planned to silence forever. He violated the trust of the clemency board once before, so why should we needlessly put a community at risk again?" Hull said.

Hull said the Department of Corrections will closely monitor Bloom during the entire period of his house arrest and any violations of the requirements of that status "will be dealt with swiftly." Bloom, 26, had been serving an 11-year term for violating the conditions of his parole after his release in 1994 from prison.

Bloom was arrested in 1988, and in 1989 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit arson of an occupied structure and misconduct involving weapons. In 1990, he was sentenced to four years in prison and seven years of probation.

During the probation period following his 1994 release, he was found in possession of firearms and Nazi literature. He was given the 11-year sentence in May 1994.

DOC spokesman Michael Arra said Bloom will be living with his wife and their children in their Phoenix residence and will be allowed outside the home only to go to work, report to his parole officer, undergo urinalysis testing for drug and alcohol use, attend counseling and attend church.

Bloom, in an interview the day after the clemency board granted him home arrest, said he is no longer a threat to the Valley's Jewish community and that he just wants to live a life that is "normal as possible."