Main | Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gay Groups Plead Mercy For
Lawrence King's Killer

An alliance of 27 LGBT groups is asking the Ventura County, California district attorney to try the 14-year old murderer of Lawrence King (left) as a juvenile.

Here's a statement from the alliance, which includes Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, GLSEN, and the Transgender Law Center:
"We are saddened and outraged by the murder of junior high school student Lawrence King. At the same time, we call on prosecutors not to compound this tragedy with another wrong, we call on them to treat the suspect as a juvenile, not as an adult.

"The facts in this matter seem clear: one boy killed another in a climate of intolerance and fear about sexual orientation and gender expression. The alleged perpetrator, who turned 14 years old less than three weeks before the shooting, should be held accountable for his actions.

"But we support the principles underlying our juvenile justice system that treat children differently than adults and provide greater hope and opportunity for rehabilitation. California law does not require District Attorneys to prosecute 14 year-olds as adults, even in circumstances such as these, and we oppose them doing so.

"We are issuing this joint statement because we believe so strongly in principles of justice that protect all our young people and know that, even in the face of strong emotions, we should not abandon them.

"We refuse to let our sense of outrage blind us to the fact that the suspect is only 14 years old."
If tried as an adult, Brandon McInerney (right) faces up to 24 years to life in prison, with an added three year hate crime enhancement.

I have a feeling this will be a hot topic today. I'm somewhat torn on this, so I'll throw the question out to you.

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