Jessica Hoffmann

Transgender Law Center Opposes Trying McInerney as an Adult

Filed By Jessica Hoffmann | February 21, 2008 4:43 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Transgender & Intersex, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Brandon McInerney, children's rights, human rights abuses, juvenile, Lawrence King, National Center for Lesbian Rights, Transgender Law Center

The Transgender Law Center, in conjunction with the National Center for Lesbian Rights, has come out against charging Brandon McInerney--the 14-year-old charged with killing Lawrence King--as an adult. In a document circulated via e-mail yesterday, they wrote,

While we in absolutely no way condone the alleged actions of the suspect, he is a child and we should not judge his actions through the same lens we would use with an adult.

Kristina Wertz, legal director of the Transgender Law Center, says,

We feel very strongly that charging children as adults and sending them into the adult system violates basic human rights principles and the general standards of international law and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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Got a link to the email? I'd like to cover this on my radio show tonight.

"We feel very strongly that charging children as adults and sending them into the adult system violates basic human rights...."

I agree in principle - but I also cannot get out of my head what prosecutors might have done to Lawrence had he fought back and killed his attacker.

Instead of seeking to remove the killer from the adult system, I would like to see who(all)ever taught him to hate brought into the system on accomplice liability.

Fourteen year olds are not tried as adults in the US
This would be unusual punishment, even in this
fascist police state that our self governing society has been perverted into. I personally would be
upset if he saw the outside world before he turned
thirty five.

Murder is a severe crime and while i don't believe in the death penalty, someone who committs such a crime should be isolated from society for a very long time.

Article 25
States Parties recognize the right of a child who has been placed by the competent authorities for the purposes of care, protection or treatment of his or her physical or mental health, to a periodic review of the treatment provided to the child and all other circumstances relevant to his or her placement.

I wonder who gets to determine that and how are they qualified.

There are many things about
This Document that gives me the creeps

This really is a good time to be old. My children are all raised and on their own thank GOD.

Take care

I don't think that is going to happen Kat.
everyone mentioned
would have to be held accountable.

Of the very least would be the school officials.
They always seem to find someone to take the
blame for their incompetence.

Take care

I guess I'm a jerk, but I think you do a very adult crime, you get adult punishment. No matter how messed up the kid may be from up bringing, media, and socitey as a whole. Everyone knows killing another person is wrong.

as much as i hate the murder of an innocent, the crime was committed by a child. to pretend that he is an adult is fantasy fueled by the need for revenge, not justice. i am not certain that juvenile law is equipped for crimes this heinous, but it should be. there must be ample punishment and restriction on this youngster to see that he can never hurt another human being.

i am certain that the adult judicial system will not provide justice to a 14 year old. i agree with the TLC.

But what no one has answered yet is what we should do with him. If he isn't tried as an adult, when he turns 18 he'll have a get out of jail free card. He'll have done less than 4 years for murder.

If you try him as an adult, he'll have no chance of rehabilitation and will more than likely be abused by the other inmates. It'll mess him up even further...

he needs to be tried for his crime and if found guilty, isolated from
society for a very long time while he is rehabilitated. When he is in his mid forties or early fifties he can return to society.

Take care

Michael Bedwell | February 21, 2008 9:13 PM

Give me an fucking break! This isn't the high schooler suing to wear a "Homosexuality is shameful t-shirt." This isn't a pint-sized Isaiah Washington throwing the F-bomb. Unless there is empirical evidence of mental retardation, when do you become accountable for your actions if not by 14?

Earth to "Love Me I'm A Liberals": 14-yr. olds stopped being "children" in Western society looonnnng ago! Put a gun in their hands and hate where their hearts should be and Lawrence King is dead.

"Several published studies have found, for instance, that some tweens' bodies are developing faster, with more girls starting menstruation in elementary school — a result doctors often attribute to improved nutrition and, in some cases, obesity. While boys are still being studied, the findings about girls have caused some endocrinologists to lower the limits of early breast development to first or second grade." - "10 is the new 15 as kids grow up faster," AP, Nov. 26, 2006

OF COURSE, "the adult system" is heinous. So is the juvenile system. But unless we can put McInery into cryogenic stasis until they're fixed, he needs to be tried and sentenced as an adult or he will "age out of" the juvenile system. Any Hoosier readers old enough to remember Steve Judy? I was doing my “conscientious objector” service as a “psychiatric attendant” at the old Central State Hospital in Indianapolis where he had lucked out to be sent, at 14, to a special program with the intention of helping troubled kids who’d been arrested. His crime? I was stunned to learn that the quiet, polite, yes, beautiful boy had, at 13, posing as a Boy Scout, he forced his way into a woman's Indianapolis home, raped her, ***“then stabbed her 18 times with a pocket knife until the blade broke. He used a hatchet to fracture her skull and cut off a finger on her left hand as she tried to block his blows. For that brutal attack, he spent 6 months at a center for delinquent juveniles. From there, he was admitted to Central State.”

Reading his file, I discovered that doctors disagreed about his prognosis. Some felt he could be helped with counseling; others were convinced he was an inalterable sexual psychopath who should be locked up for the public’s safety and the proverbial key thrown away. The “liberal” doctors won, and Judy was released at 16.

Roughly a month before his 23rd birthday he came upon a 21-yr. old woman also driving on I-465 and tricked her into pulling over and stopping by motioning that something was wrong with the back of her car. Pretending to look at the engine, he disabled it, and offered her a ride. Driving to White Lick Creek, he bound and gagged her with strips he tore from her Marsh store clerk uniform, raped, and then strangled her to death, throwing her body into the creek, along with her children, ages 5, 4, and 2, and left them to drown. Mushroom hunters discovered their bodies.

At his trial, pursuing an insanity defense, he testified that he had committed hundreds of crimes, from shoplifting to car theft, and at least a dozen rapes. Women he’d attacked testified against him. Over the four years before the murder of the woman and her three children, he had only been out of jail a total of approximately four months.

By the time he was convicted, he’d decided that he wanted to die. Given an opportunity to speak to the jury, he threatened to kill each of them and members of their families if he ever got out again. Others filed legal appeals against his wishes to stop his execution, but he insisted that he wanted to die because he knew he would kill again if he ever got free. His was Indiana’s first execution in 20 years.


Is McInery another Steve Judy? Hardly likely. But each of their victims is no more dead than the other. Does it make sense to twirl him through the worthless juvenile system and then release him before Lawrence King would have graduated from high school? Absolutely not.

Treatment of gay/trans hate crimes particularly is as much about deterrent than punishment. Studies of those who commit them consistently show that they thought is was socially acceptable. But despite that, no matter how acceptable gay bashing still is in our society, no matter how easy guns are to get now, there would not be so many gay bashings, kids wouldn't be using guns in such numbers if they weren't already beyond "rehabilitation" and/or thought their youth would get them nothing more than an a virtual slap on the wrists.

15 and a violent crime? Do the time!

The Legal Age is Eighteen.

Oh one more thing..
How can you read his file when we have a set of laws under the acronym HIPPA.
Which insures medical information is private.

Your comments are typical of some thirty something unmarried man who never had or was involved in the raising of children.

Take care


no one is recommending a slap on the wrist. it doesn't change the fact that trying 14 year olds in an adult justice system is not justice. they aren't equipped for it. now, give me the speech about how they shouldn't commit the crime. irrelevant. the legal system needs to come up with better options.

the case you made reference to illustrates that each individual case needs to be determined with extreme gravity. up to and including life in prison in a highly restrictive mental health facility. i am not an expert on juvenile criminal justice - i don't have a specific answer. i do KNOW that putting a 14 year old through the adult system is wrong.

It just seems so arbitrary. If he goes to juvie he gets out in less than 4. If he goes to adult that young, he'll get eaten alive. Why can't they keep him juvie till 18 and then move him to prison? I just don't think he should get a pass and not have to be punished for a good long time.

bill, are you sure that the juvenile system is that restricted? i agree that he should not get a pass, especially after 4 years. not even after 15 years. not a free pass. it would have to be totally earned. consideration for a release needs to be held to intense scrutiny. the last thing the world needs is another psychopath on the street. you really have to wonder how all this happened. i was a bad kid, and did some vicious things. i could have gotten into a situation where i hurt someone, but i was never capable of first degree calculated murder. that kind of act takes a special breed. they are very scary people. i knew some when i was older - but never anyone close to 18, much less 14. at that age, mostly kids are just confused and a lot of bluster. even the worst of them.

They can hold him for longer then four years Just because he committed a serious crime while being under age doesn't mean he will get out when he is Eighteen.

Hey everybody,

I've been involved with SPR (Stop Prison Rape. Juvvie isn't kiddie camp. Sex crimes against inmates are committed there, just like in adult prison.

Prison in America isn't a nice place to be, no matter how you dice it. And our prisons don't do much to rehabilitate...which is why we have such a high recidivist rate. So there's little hope that McInerney will be rehabilitated there. Indeed, if he spends any amount of time in solitary, he will probably be pretty psychotic when he comes out because human beings don't do well in solitary, especially young ones. Today's American prison system is mainly geared to warehouse people for long periods of time, the longer the better, because this way it provides profits and jobs for the prison industry.

The film "American Me" was made some years ago, but it's still a telling (and very hard to watch) picture of American prison life, based in the true story of a Mexican Mafia leader. You seldom see it on TV for that reason. One of its major points is how a juvenile offender was stunted in his development as a human being, after being sentenced to juvvie at 15, and committing a crime there (he murdered another inmate in self defense when the inmate tried to rape him). So he was shuffled on to adult prison when he was 18. When he finally was released from prison at age 35, and went back "into society," he had absolutely no idea how to interact with other people, except in the ways he'd learned behind bars since he was a kid. I won't tell the ending in case some of you want to see it. It's a must-see.

I feel badly for McInerney, because his life is probably over, unless he finds himself in some extraordinary way behind bars. It's important to get to these kids BEFORE they commit the big crime. I notice that the media have had little to say about his family life, but there will surely be some interesting revelations during the trial. I also notice that King's parents were around in Oxnard, because the media found them...but they had evidently surrendered King's custody, since he was a foster child. So you have to wonder what was going on with them as well.

Two kids from what may have been dysfunctional was an accident waiting to happen.

It's sad because the solutions here are so much more complex than a choice between being tried as a juvenile or an adult, but if that's the question before us, I'd be more in favor of juvenile because, well, he is a juvenile. If we're going to have two separate systems, we can't just break the distinctions between the two just because we're particularly upset by a particular crime. If people don't like the rules, now's not really the time to change them against the interest of the prosecuted.

I know, I know, they're allowed to try him as an adult. but it just makes no sense to me. If we have a juvenile system, why are we crossing the age line just because of the brutality of the crime? How does that standard make the kid more mentally developed? It doesn't - people are just pissed and want blood.

I believe there is lots of blame for this premeditated murder. I think there should be consequences for each of the parties involved.
Where did the weapon used in the crime come from, and why did a 14 year old have access to it? There should be a consequence to the person who provided the gun to him.
There should be a consequence to the school, for not making it a safe environment for Lawrence.
For the alleged murderer, he should be tried as an adult, serve time in a juvenile detention facility until he is 21, and then be transferred to an adult facility for a term determined by a judge. Premeditated murder is a serious felony, and a serious response must be made to it. Otherwise this will continue unabated. There must be a clear message that this will no longer be tolerated in this country. This violence must end. It simply must. Now.

Michael Bedwell | February 22, 2008 12:01 PM

"accident," Patricia????? McInery ACCIDENTALLY shot King TWICE?

"he will probably be pretty psychotic when he comes out"???? He's pretty psychotic already, Madame! Again, he's 14. 14-year olds understand consequences and cause and effect. He caused Lawrence King to DIE; the effect should be that he lose his freedom.

"Today's American prison system is mainly geared to warehouse people for long periods of time, the longer the better, because this way it provides profits and jobs for the prison industry." You mean if it weren't just for plain old greed we could all be partying down with Charles Manson and Squeaky Fromm? I've always wanted to ask that sweet crazy gal where she got the fun name.

Bil, your eventual suggestion is in the direction of the most reasonable option among none perfect—and a variation of the recommendation [that was ignored with the previously detailed results] that had been made for Steve Judy while he was still at Central State. Keep McInery in juvenile detention until he's legally an adult and then transfer him to regular prison to finish his maximum sentence for first degree MURDER.

Finally, Sue, if you read before engaging keyboard I would not have to reiterate that I was an employee of the hospital's nursing department, one of Judy's caretakers, and, therefore, was legally entitled to read his or any of the other patients' files. Relating his "what went horribly wrong with the system" story was but a probably wasted cautionary tale for those armchair pop psychologist and hemorrhaging hearts who know nothing of what they speak and moved on so quickly from mourning Lawrence King to weeping for his killer.

Cue Phil Och's "Love Me I'm A Liberal."

FatherFaggot | February 22, 2008 4:55 PM

If they want to prosecute kids as adults, they should really change the law that governs the legal age of consent to 16.
But trying a 14 year old as an adult is ridiculous and in this case, inhumane.

" Finally, Sue, if you read before engaging keyboard I would not have to reiterate that I was an employee of the hospital's nursing department, one of Judy's caretakers, and, therefore, was legally entitled to read his or any of the other patients' files. Relating his "what went horribly wrong with the system" story was but a probably wasted cautionary tale for those armchair pop psychologist and hemorrhaging hearts who know nothing of what they speak and moved on so quickly from mourning Lawrence King to weeping for his killer.

you might be wrong here because as i understand HIPPA you are not entitled to ready ANY patient's file you are not directly involved with.

If you were ever in any medical institution i went to for help and you ever spoke of my being there outside of that institution i would see you in court. You can bet on it.
I had tow receptionists at my doctor's office reprimanded for saying something about me and my medical history loud enough for it to be heard across the reception aria. You have no business discussing a patients affairs outside of the office.

Discussing someone's medical history outside of and to unauthorized personnel is a violation of HIPPA.

Perhaps you should resist the male urge to show off and keep certain information to yourself.


Michael Bedwell | February 22, 2008 6:55 PM

Perhaps you should have noted, Sue, that Steve Judy has been dead for 27 years. Note, also, that though I first learned of the details of his various diagnoses through reading his file AS AN EMPLOYEE DIRECTLY INVOLVED WITH HIM, everything I referenced has long since been a matter of public record through the transcripts of his trial, legal documents filed in relation to it, and newspaper accounts.

As for those who overheard your doctor's receptionists' inappropriately loud remarks, all they would have had to do was visit St. Bilerico's Hospital.

PS: This just in: Steve Judy still dead.

Trying a 14-year old as an adult is not inhumane. He took a life, and if a 14-year old is in school, he should know that such a deed is wrong. If he doesn't, we should just close the schools and stop wasting money trying to educate people. What's the use?

Sending that child to juvenile detention for 4 years will just keep encouraging others to do this. Why not, if they are just going to get a slap on the wrist! If he doesn't know what he did was wrong, perhaps ten to fifteen years behind bars will teach him that.

The violence must end.