Friday, September 02, 2011

Judge rules mistrial as jury fails to reach verdict in Lawrence King murder case

Unbelievably, the jury in the Lawrence King murder case has ended in the judge declaring a mistrial, as reported in news columns across the country,  even the world.
This is from (UK):
"The jury in the trial of Brandon McInerney - the teen accused of killing Lawrence King – have failed to reach a verdict, forcing the presiding judge to rule a mistrial.

McInerney  (left)  King (right-murdered in 2008)
The news comes after an eight-week case which saw almost 100 witnesses take the stand in Los Angeles, California.

It also comes three years after King was shot twice in the back of the head at his Oxnard high school on 12 February 2008. He was thought to have flirted with McInerney, who was raised with a history of violence.

The jury had deliberated over the case – which was closely followed by gay rights groups – since last Friday.

Jurors were told beforehand that failure to reach a verdict could result in a mistrial, but after four different votes, they were unable to come to a decision.

A Ventura County Star journalist told KPCC radio that: "Brandon, who has been stoic throughout the whole thing, had a light smile and blew a kiss to his girlfriend," after the mistrial was declared.

King's family declined comment as they left the courthouse.
Now, Prosecutors must decide whether to re-file both the murder and hate crime charges.

Seventeen year-old McInerney was charged as an adult with premeditated murder and faced 50 years in jail, but his defence lawyer, Scott Wippert, argued that his client had reached an emotional breaking point over unwanted sexual advances by the victim."
Somehow it is a rather staggering statement about the amount of freedom a person has to commit a hate crime against someone who is perceived as being gay, and thus far, get away with it without even a slap on the hand. The fact that he smiled and sent a kiss to his girlfriend somehow says it all. 

I sincerely hope that the DA files new charges against him and re-tries the case. I think that pressure from LGBT groups across the country will force such an action as this case would, and still may, set precedent for the committing of gay hate crimes.

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