Brynn Craffey

Update on Oxnard shooting....

Filed By Brynn Craffey | February 15, 2008 12:55 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: bullying, hate crimes against LGBT people, homophobic behavior, LGBT youth, transphobia

LarryKing.jpg

Even though law enforcement officials are refusing to comment or give details, it's looking like they will charge 14-year-old Brandon McInerney, who shot and killed eighth-grader, Larry King, 15, (pictured above) this past week at an Oxnard middle school, with a hate crime.

Prosecutors are also seeking to try the teenager as an adult.

Prosecutors decided to try him in adult court because the law allows them to do so with juveniles as young as 14 who are accused of serious crimes. Officials said McInerney is facing a long prison sentence if he is convicted of shooting his classmate, 15-year-old Larry King.

"The first-degree murder carries 25 (years) to life. The use of a firearm carries 25 to life, and the hate crime carries an enhancement of one to three years," Senior Deputy District Attorney Maeve Fox said in an interview. "In Ventura County, we've never had a school shooting like this. It is very tragic."

I must say I was surprised to see that the hate-crime designation carries only an additional 1 to 3 years. For this the right-wing makes a huge uproar every time another jurisdiction seeks such legislation?!

Complete story here, and more here.

[Cross-posted at Dispatches from the Homeland.]


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Lawrence Kings life couldn’t have been easy. He as in foster care and at school he was maliciously taunted by christian bigots. At the end, far from accepting the innate beauty of his genetic heritage, they killed him for it.

In a better world the shooter would be given the death penalty and his family, friends and cult leaders would be indicted as accomplices. We’re not in that better world because we don’t count. Conservative and centrist politicians from both parties sent a clear message about our worth as humans when they dropped ENDA and the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes bills late last year. At the same time they refused to repeal bigot laws like DADT and DOMA sponsored by the Clinton administration

Some might say that the these maneuvers don’t really mean that the Democrats and Republicans are bigots. And they say that in any case nobody pay attentions. They’re dead wrong. These bigoted politicians sent a strong message to street thugs that we don’t deserve to be treated like citizens and humans. Their message to the thugs is that they have friends in high places, friends who agree with them that our lives don’t count.

In Oxnard, one of the thugs figured out what the politicians were saying. He got the message loud and clear. He murdered Lawrence King. He, his family, his accomplices and his church should be treated as ruthlessly as possible and if that wrecks their lives so much the better.

King's murder was the second this year (that I've read about), and follows last years total of at least 25. There will likely be more this year because of the bigoted electioneering of the christian right and the politicians of both parties who pander to them. This murder points up the need for national demonstrations to demand the passage of the Matthew Shepard Gate Crimes Bill and ENDA along with the repeal of the Clintons DOMA and DADT. We need a militant massive campaign to force our agenda into law because it’s obvious that the Republicans and Democrats don’t give a damn about our lives.

RIP Lawrence King.

Brynn, the last time I heard about it the average time served in California for murder/ manslaughter was well under ten years because of prison overcrowding and massive gang populations.

Given his age and the short add on for a hate crime McInerney could be out and ready to kill again sometime around 2015.

Brynn Craffey Brynn Craffey | February 15, 2008 9:46 PM

Bill, while I share your outrage over King's murder and agree that the religious right and Republican leadership share culpability, I am adamantly opposed to the death penalty.

In addition to its proven lack of deterrence, racist application, and the high potential for executing an innocent person, I consider the death penalty to be both immoral and barbaric and believe it would only further damage our cause.

Longer sentencing for crimes like this, on the other hand, seem strongly warranted.

Brynn,

I'm always going to be in a minority on this but I think it should be used in all cases when a hate crime results in death, whether committed by an individual or a lynch mob.

I agree that it should be abolished for other crimes, expcept genocide and complicity in genocide.

So if this kid is 14 now. By the time he's convicted, he'd be at least 15 or 16. He gets 20 years + 2 for the hate crime. Half that for good behavior. Half that for overcrowding. Now we're at about 5.5 years which would start from when he was first incarcerated, so he'd be out by about age 20 or 21.

I'll bet he'll be even meaner and nastier then than he is now.