Hit or Miss

Has justice been delivered?

I am mad.

It’s just been announced that Aaron McKinney, the second of two men on trial for mudering Matthew Shepherd last year, will recieve 2 life sentences (instead of recieving the death penalty, which prosecutors had been pressing for).

I must say that I’m a little disappointed by his sentence.  Despite the fact that this case has been one of the highest profile hate crimes recently and one which could set precedence for rulings in the future, I truly feel that McKinney should have recieved the death penalty.  There is simply no excuse for what he and his accomplices did.  I don’t care about the lame “gay panic” defense his lawyers tried to introduce.  I don’t about anything other than the fact that he murdered a fellow gay  college student in cold blood and is now just going to remain in prison (2 life sentences – do you get parole after 5 years for that now?).

I think that McKinney’s sentence demonstrates why we need state and federal hate crimes legislation.  Until we as a nation acknowledge all the brutal crimes being committed against gays, people of color, people with disabilities, etc, and take an active stand to punish those who commit them, I and others will continue to live in fear.