Editor's Note:Guest blogger Beth Sherouse is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at the University of South Carolina. She is also a Board Member for Sean's Last Wish and the Volunteer Coordinator for South Carolina Equality.
In May of 2007, in Greenville, South Carolina, Sean Kennedy, a 20-year-old gay man was leaving a bar when Stephen Andrew Moller called him a faggot and hit him in the face so hard that Kennedy's brain separated from its stem. Moller left him on the sidewalk, unconscious, and Sean died later that night from his injuries.
Sean was a person who was open and honest about his sexual orientation; he was kind, and generous, and never met a stranger he didn't like.
Because of the inadequacy of South Carolina laws and the lack of hate crimes statutes in the state, Sean's murderer is eligible for parole as early as next month, meaning that he will have served only 8 months in prison since his sentencing.
Please consider helping Sean's family, friends, and community protest this injustice and ask the parole board to make Stephen Andrew Moller serve the remainder of his sentence, which will end in September 2009. While Sean Kennedy's family may never see justice done for Sean, we must do all that we can to show SC officials and the rest of the country that our community will not simply sit back and watch such violence and injustice continue to affect the lives of GLBT people.
Please write a letter to the parole board. In your letter, please remind them of the violent and unprovoked nature of Moller's offense and the pain and suffering it has caused in the lives of Sean Kennedy's family and friends. Also, please let Sean's mother Elke Kennedy know if you send a letter and if possible, send her a copy of the letter (firstname.lastname@example.org), so she can have them to take with her to the parole hearing.
Be sure to include Moller's full name and ID number: Stephen Andrew Moller - SCDC ID # 00328891.
Send your letters to: Department of Probation Pardon and Parole Services 2221 Devine Street, Suite 600, PO Box 50666 Columbia SC 29250