As the defense trial of Brandon McInerney drew to a close Friday, a defense expert testified that Brandon had suffered severe mental and emotional abuse since the age of seven and had developed a wall around him that effectively shut off his emotions and allowed him to not "feel" anything when he purportedly shot Lawrence King, a classmate who was known to be gay. The psychologist testified that by being abused at such an early age by his father he was incapable of feeling anything emotionally and was, most likely, not capable of feeling remorse for shooting King. Donald Hoagland, a clinical and forensic psychologist who evaluated the defendant, according to the Ventura County Star testified, “You can’t go through life feeling like hell every moment, so you learn to shut off your feelings.”
However, if this was true, then I wonder how he could feel hatred against anyone if he had a lack of emotional responses to outside situations.
McInerney, 14 at the time of the shooting, is being tried as an adult and could face life in prison if convicted. This case could also set some precedents for future cases of hate crimes and violence towards others, in addition to LGBTQ students, and could lead to a forced change of laws regarding how administrators and teachers handle school bullying and anti-gay incidents.
We certainly hope so!