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View Diary: Criminal InJustice Kos: Lawrence King's Murder, the Trial and Implications (165 comments)

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  •  So what if he picked up on it? You going to (0+ / 0-)

    punish the child for the sins of the parent or even society.  The point is his brain isn't matured enough to control his judgment. Not an excuse for committing the act just his mental capability in dealing with gay hate.  At what age would you feel comfortable in charging juveniles with murder and sentencing them to life in prison?  For a murder conviction I would have to hear evidence he had mature judgment.  From what I've read and know about teenage brains that would be very difficult.

    Preemptive war is like committing suicide for fear of death

    by thestructureguy on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 07:02:03 PM PDT

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    •  I don't know, as I said (6+ / 0-)

      in comments above, I'm torn on the whole thing. I mean, the whole episode is an act of terrorism against LGBTs and gender nonconformers. The kid shot a gay kid and is basically getting away with it simply because the victim is gay and wore a dress. This sends a message to all of us that it's not okay to be LGBT or someone can come after you and kill you and the system will help your killers.

      I mean what if the kid (who is a white supremacist) had lynched a black kid at school? That also sends a message to all black people that they should be scared of attending school while black. It seems horrifying that he'd get off in THAT case and there'd be a lot of outrage.

      All in all it's a difficult situation for me and I can't fully look at it objectively.

      "No doubt many are offended by the idea of same-sex marriage. But, of course, those who don’t like the idea of same-sex marriage don’t have to marry someone of the same sex." - Prof. Erwin Chemerinsky

      by indiemcemopants on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 07:10:39 PM PDT

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    •  The verdicts are so final, and then you hit a... (0+ / 0-)

      wall. Bigger wall when you suffer a loss.

      This is the time to get a clear head about the juvenile/adult trial debate. This issue burdens the conscience of every thinking person who considers it. This has been said before, so I only repeat with the best intentions.  You can't change a law to suit your conscience at trial.

      If this trial has changed your mind about trying juvenile offenders as adults, then you must now work to change the law; register in the state, support referendums and vote your conscience. Because, once it's law, only a judge will be able to affect it.

      Concerning this trial, consider:

      In this particular case, the law was in place before the defendant committed the crime; the defendant's rights have not been violated. Even though the prosecutor reached for legal remedies to have McInerey tried as an adult, she acted within the law. If you don't think prosecutors should be able to do this, now is the time to work to change the law.

      In this particular case, the defendant is young; and he's on trial for killing a boy who was just as young.

      In this particular case, the defendant was tried as an adult, and risked 50+ years in prison; the victim could have been expected to live as long as, if not longer than, this maximum sentence.

      In this particular case, the defendant (with his under-developed brain) killed a boy who provoked him; but Larry (with his under-developed brain) was responsible for his provoking behavior. Why shouldn't the defendant be responsible for his own actions?
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      Thank you for creating this valuable diary.

      •  I'm horrified by this: (0+ / 0-)
        In this particular case, the defendant (with his under-developed brain) killed a boy who provoked him; but Larry (with his under-developed brain) was responsible for his provoking behavior.

        Do you honestly believe this?  The defendant claims he was provoked.  The basis for his claim of provocation is little more than the victim's sexual orientation.  And the victim had been bullied by the defendant before.  Any "provoking behavior" in which he engaged appears to have been in response to having been bullied.  The bottom line is that there is no equivalence between the two kids' behavior.  

        All you're doing here is buying into the idea that King was at fault. What you've written isn't a whole lot different from this comment, the content of which may be one of the reasons the user who made it is now banned.

        "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

        by FogCityJohn on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 12:06:58 AM PDT

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        •  please read it again, and keep (0+ / 0-)

          In mind that the issue of provocation is now a legal one, since the jury's verdicts included manslaughter.

          •  I've already read it more than once . . . (0+ / 0-)

            and I am intimately familiar with the legal definition of provocation.  (I've been a lawyer for 25 years.)

            As I said, the claimed "provocation" here is nothing more than a retread of the gay panic defense.  I cannot imagine why you've chosen to give it credence.

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 09:27:19 AM PDT

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            •  Because the jury did (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              Seven members of the jury voted for Manslaughter. They found cause for provocation. That is a fact, and that's why I wrote it.

              I am a proud Lesbian living in WA state with my beautiful partner of 14 years. Sometime soon, a Western District Judge will rule on Doe v. Reed, and I will, most likely, be able to read the names of the people here in WA who signed a petition to add R-71 to the 2009 November ballot. R-71 offered to obliterate WA's everything-but-marriage domestic partnership rights. The referendum made it to the ballot, and was defeated.

              I tell you this because you may think I don't care about Lawrence King. You may think I'm an awful person who doesn't know anything at all about gay rights, or the Gay Panic defense. Or how losing a person like LK hurts everyone. And that a trial ending with no verdict is a slap in the face.

              I don't think I am awful. You don't have to write to me or believe what I believe. I don't think you're awful and I'm not going to fight with you about these things that are unspeakably sad and frightening, to us all.

              This murderer is not going to go free. He'll go to prison or jail. He will serve a lot of time. And I don't feel sorry for McInerney at all.  In my post I was offering reasons why a 50+ year sentence was appropriate in this case. I wish he hadn't done what he did, but that's because I wish LK was still alive; not because I feel sorry for McInerney and find him to be a sad case and a victim.  So, please don't think I am celebrating when I write about provocation. I'm not celebrating.  I'm thinking about why this trial took this shape. I'm thinking about the people on the jury and what they heard and saw. I'm thinking about the prosecutor and her rigid, odd decisions. And I'm thinking about the judge who pulled a Manslaughter instruction out of his hat.

              I'm looking at this trial and these people because I cannot look away. I  write about the trial because that makes me feel purposeful and busy, and not angry, sad and bitter.  I want to thank you, John, for writing back to me and giving me the opportunity to explain what must look to you to be either intolerable ignorance or devious knife-twisting.

              Lots of people saw what happened. We're angry too. I don't want it to happen again. This is how I do that. This is what I am going to keep doing.


              •  Appreciate the clarification (0+ / 0-)

                One thing I would note, however, is that you should be careful about blaming either the prosecutor or the court for some of the things that happened in this case.  If I understand the case correctly, there was a special circumstance allegation that required that the defendant be tried as an adult.  So if I've got that right, the DA had no discretion to do what she did.  Any complaints about trying this kid as an adult should be addressed to the Legislature (or perhaps the voters, since a lot of this crap has been added by initiative).

                As for the judge, s/he was required by law to give the instruction on manslaughter if it was a lesser included offense and if it there was substantial evidence from which a jury could conclude that the lesser offense, rather than the greater, was committed.  I'm pretty sure voluntary manslaughter is a lesser included offense of murder (but could be wrong), although I'm not quite as sure that the substantial evidence existed here.  

                In any event, my larger point is that we should be careful about blaming prosecutors and judges for things like this these days.  At least here in California, the Legislature and the voters have steadily narrowed the scope of DAs and judges to moderate charges and to decide on things like sentencing.  Pretty much every change in the law in this area has been in the direction of harsher charges and sentences.  And pretty much every one of these boneheaded changes has done far more harm than good.  (Indeed, with things like three strikes, I question whether any good at all has been done.)

                Finally, thanks again for your clarification.  I don't think you're either ignorant or devious.  It's just that very often people who are not lawyers -- and I don't know whether you're one or not -- approach these cases without a clear understanding of the applicable terms and rules.  The case is confusing enough to me, and I'm a California lawyer, but one who doesn't do much criminal work.  

                Anyway, hope I didn't come off as too harsh.  My original post was done way late at night, when I probably shouldn't be blogging.  :-)

                "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

                by FogCityJohn on Fri Sep 09, 2011 at 12:52:51 PM PDT

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