Friday, February 15, 2008

Can't We All Just Get Along? (Part Two)

This is the more serious part.

The LA Times today reports that 14-year-old Brandon McInerney is being charged as an adult in a premeditated hate crime against 15-year-old classmate Lawrence King in Ventura County.

McInerney shot King in the head this past Tuesday allegedly because King had recently "started to wear makeup and jewelry and had proclaimed himself gay."

On the news last night, the Defending attorney, Brian Vogel, was trying to appeal the court's decision to try McInerney as an adult. He had turned 14 (the legal cut-off age) only three weeks ago. "If this crime had happened three weeks ago," Vogel maintains, "this case would be in juvenile court."

Well, sure. Okay. Legally, yes. I guess if you want to look at it that way it almost makes McInerney's crime not the fact that he killed a boy, but rather that he killed a boy three weeks too late.

But this boy killed someone on purpose. Regardless of the fact of WHY (because really does it even matter why?). Why should our punishment of premeditated killing differ from old person to young person? The same terrible logic is at work - someone felt that he had the power to decide whether another human should live or die at his descretion. That's just not okay!

I'm glad the Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Maeve Fox has decided to try him as an adult, and I'm glad they've acted so swiftly in the prosecution of McInerney for both murder and a hate crime. This type of bad choice cannot be let go with a smack on the wrist. We have to be a society that says, "No. This is wrong, and no matter who you are you will be punished to the full extent of the law."

'Cause maybe somewhere, somehow, some other 14 year old kid who doesn't like his gay classmate will see that and say, "Maybe it's better if we just try to get along instead."

1 comment:

Marc Acito said...

I couldn't agree with you more. Thank you for presenting your case so eloquently.

And thanks also for including my blog on your list of favorites. I'm honored.

Best wishes,