Friday, 2 September 2011


From KTLA:
The judge in the Brandon McInerney murder trial has declared a mistrial after jurors said they were hopelessly deadlocked.

The vote was 7 to 5 in favor of finding Brandon McInerney guilty of voluntary manslaughter.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Maeve Fox told jurors that King was "executed" for who he was, and that the crime was therefore first-degree murder.

"No amount of revisionist history and attempts to paint Larry King as some kind of predator can ever change the fact of what occurred in this case," Fox said. "That is: Larry King was executed for who he was."

Prosecutors have described the shooting as a premeditated murder carried out by a classmate who was a proponent of "racist skinhead philosophy."

According to prosecutors, McInerney sat behind King in the computer lab class on Feb. 12, 2008, didn't do anything for 20 minutes, and then, without saying a word, fired one shot into the back of King's head.

As the teen collapsed to the floor, McInerney stood up, looked around at his astonished classmates and delivered a "second, coup de grâce" shot into King's head, prosecutors allege.

The defense has argued that King taunted and flirted with McInerney, ultimately sparking the fatal confrontation.

Student witnesses have said King had expressed a romantic interest in McInerney, who was humiliated by the attention.

But, when asked by McInerney's lawyer Scott Wipert if he had seen King "chasing boys around," A student identified as 17-year-old Cristian G. answered no.

One of King's friends told the court that King did not aggressively flirt with other boys at the school.
Prosecutors say McInerney carefully planned and carried out murder of his eighth-grade classmate.

During opening statements, the defense argued that McInerney was a troubled boy from a violent home and killed King in the "heat-of-the-moment."

Fox countered that McInerney had threatened to shoot King, who was openly gay, the day before the incident after the two were involved in an argument in science class.

McInerney had just turned 14 when he allegedly shot King with a .22-caliber handgun.
In California, the "Gay/Trans Panic Defence" was supposed to have been excluded after the murder of Gwen Araujo.
A transgender variation of the gay panic defense was also used in 2004–2005 by the three defendants in the Gwen Araujo homicide case, who claimed that they were enraged by the discovery that Araujo, a transgender teenager with whom they had engaged in sex, had male genitalia. The first trial resulted in a jury deadlock; in the second, defendants Mike Magidson and Jose Merél were convicted of second-degree murder, while the jury again deadlocked in the case of Jason Cazares. Cazares later entered a plea of no contest to charges of voluntary manslaughter.
But it seems not. The Judge can advise the Jury to disregard it, but they don't have to obey.

All a defence lawyer has to do is assert that the victim "came on" to the suspect - no witnesses or other evidence is necessary - and deadlock, or even acquittal - is likely, regardless of the other facts.

Closer to home...

From the Melbourne Age
A transgender woman yesterday told how she was attacked while in a motorised wheelchair and hit about 70 times with a garden spade.

“I thought I was going to die,” Donna Macklan said in Albury Local Court when describing the attack on her in January.

She said she was knocked from her wheelchair as she tried to leave a house in North Albury, after a confrontation, the Border Mail reports.

The blows were mainly to her lower back. She also suffered a broken elbow.

Christie Keighran yesterday pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, malicious damage, offensive behaviour and resisting arrest.
The court was told Ms Macklan had lived as a woman for four years.

She became a partial paraplegic in a car crash several years ago with fractures to her right side and back injuries.

She can walk only a few steps.

There was an argument when she went to a Kentucky Avenue house about 3.25pm on January 15.

Keighran, 22, of Turner Street, Lavington, called her a (her)maphrodite and fetched a spade from the yard.

Ms Macklan tried to leave, but Keighran began hitting her motorised chair, causing damage to either side, the computer box and tyres.

“She was trying to hit me, but luckily she was hitting the wheelchair,” Ms Macklan said.

She was knocked from the wheelchair and hit several times to the head and face.
So a paraplegic gets attacked by a 22 year old woman with a shovel she specifically goes and gets to complete the attack with. Fortunately, there was no serious attempt to murder the victim. I guess we have to be thankful for small mercies.

Sometimes it's difficult not to give in to paranoia. Yes, there's risks, these should not be underestimated, even in a relatively sane place such as Canberra, Australia. But we can't go around living our lives dominated by fears, even well-grounded ones. After all, we have police to protect us.
The off-duty Metropolitan Police Department officer, Kenneth Furr, who allegedly shot two transgender women seated in a car early Friday, Aug. 26, at First and Pierce Streets NW, appeared for a preliminary hearing at D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday, Aug. 30, where his lawyer withdrew from the case and was replaced by another. Furr's new attorney, Harold Martin, asked for a postponement of the preliminary hearing, which was granted and moved to Friday, Sept. 2. Furr is being held without bond.

According to charging documents made public Aug. 27 at Furr's arraignment, Furr approached one of the transgender women at a CVS at 400 Massachusetts Ave. NW early Friday morning. That led to a second exchange with both women and a male outside the store, where Furr allegedly pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the group, who fled into the CVS. Afterward, the three who encountered Furr joined two others and trailed Furr, both parties in vehicles, in hopes of gleaning enough information to report him to authorities.

The charging document reports that Furr stopped his car near First and Pierce Streets NW, exited and pointed a handgun at the vehicle trailing him. The driver ducked to avoid getting shot, and the two vehicles collided. Furr then allegedly climbed onto the hood of the vehicle and continued shooting. At least one of the women who was shot said she heard Furr say, ''Ima kill all of you.''

One male victim was shot and taken to George Washington University Hospital in serious condition, while the two transgender women who were shot were taken to Howard University Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Hmmm... maybe not.

My son told me in the car yesterday that he tells others at school that I'm his aunt, rather than his father. To avoid "issues".

He was worried that I'd be upset. Naturally, I approved of his action, anything to keep my boy out of danger, hurt feelings be darned. I'm proud of him, that he had the sense to do this, even at age 10. That he had the personal courage and responsibility not to ask me, but to tell me, as he judged (rightly) that he knew his own situation best. And not least, that he thought of my feelings too, and wanted to make sure that I knew, and hoped I understood.

I told him that as long as he knew I was his Daddy, and always would be, the rest of the world didn't need to know. That I approved of his action, and was proud of him.

He's a far better and more mature man at 10 than the killer of Larry King was at 14, or ever will be. I'm sorry that he has to do this, to be tested this way, but that is the world he and I live in.

Depressing, isn't it?


Athel Cornish-Bowden said...

To answer your final question, yes, it's certainly depressing.

However, I want to comment on something else. Although you put the word execution in quotes, you didn't comment on what is a very inappropriate usage in itself. An execution is a judicial killing done by a legal authority -- not acceptable to me even then, but apparently acceptable to many in the USA, China, Iran, etc. -- but a murder such as this is no such thing. Let us not try to soften a common murder by calling it something else.

Anonymous said...

Public behavior has real consequences regaurdless of the law. Using common sense is the best policy.


Lloyd Flack said...

Athel, describing a killing as execution-style call attention to the premeditatation, the cold-bloodedness and the helplessness of the victim. All these are characteristics, arguably the worst characteristics, of a judicial killing.

Anonymous said...

its good that ur son hasnt been poisoned to hate u

Carla Lewis said...

"... I'm his aunt, rather than his father."

I still deal with that as well, and my children are now 20 and 21 years old.