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Larry King's killer to be tried as adult


E.J.

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I agree 100% with the DA in this case. We argued about this 18 months ago when the story first hit the papers, and I said then that if the murderer had killed the gay kid purely in anger, as a momentary thing, I could see a manslaughter conviction. But to plan it so thoroughly as to go home, sleep for 8 hours, wake up, get a gun, come to school, and then shoot the gay kid in the back of the head twice... that's premeditated, deliberate murder. To me, if you're 15, you're old enough to know it's a bad idea to shoot people and pay the consequences.

I still want to know why the gay kid traded all his jewelry and fancy clothes for just a T-shirt and jeans on the morning he was killed. I think there's a lot more going on with this story than meets the eye. I'll betcha there was something going on between these two boys. (Or, as the defense attorney has hinted, the murdering boy had been sexually abused by someone else.)

But then, the minute Michael Jackson died, I said, "and now, the world will find out how many drugs Michael was taking, and that he had a rubber nose for the last 10 years."

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I read about this when the article appeared in the Times a couple days ago. It did have more info that I'd seen before. For instance, I hadn't known there were two shots, or that one followed the other by a few seconds.

There were other things it it we learned for the first time, too.

I still don't see who gains by trying him as an adult. I don't think it was an adult thing to do, to kill someone in front of a roomful of witnesses. But what I read in the article lessens my anger that they're doing so.

C

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I still don't see who gains by trying him as an adult.

Well, I agree with you in that the dead boy is still dead, and the murdering boy is still doomed, and both their families are pretty much ruined.

But I think in the spirit of justice, murderers in some instances should be put to death for their crimes. I readily acknowledge that not everybody agrees, and there are good arguments against the death penalty (particularly the horrendous risk of sending an innocent person to his or her death).

In this case, the murderer is incredibly guilty (as the line goes from The Producers). I can't imagine any circumstances that permit a lighter sentence, given the facts.

Again, if he killed the gay kid in sudden anger, and showed remorse, I'd make an argument that he should get 7-10 years in jail and then be out on probation. But premeditated, two shots to the back of the head, and in front of 35 students and a teacher... jesus, it doesn't get much worse than that.

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Yeah, if I had had easy access to guns when I was a kid, I might've thought about shooting the people who tormented me and made my life miserable. But I also had a pretty strong sense of morality, and while I might have thought about it for a second, I knew it was wrong -- on any level -- and never would've actually done it, let alone even picked up a gun.

There's a terrific site here:

http://www.bullycide.org/

promoting a new book on the problem of bullying, murder, and suicide -- gays and straights included. Some of the stories they tell are truly, deeply affecting. The newest problem of kids who are cyber-bullied is particularly sobering.

The tragedy with the Lawrence King murder is that the families involved didn't know how serious things were getting. It's clear to me that King knew something was going to happen that morning, and the parents of the killer, McInerney, were so removed, they had no clue what their son was planning to do.

I'm going to try to follow this case closely as it comes to trial, and find out what facts come out.

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There's a terrific site here:

http://www.bullycide.org/

promoting a new book on the problem of bullying, murder, and suicide -- gays and straights included. Some of the stories they tell are truly, deeply affecting. The newest problem of kids who are cyber-bullied is particularly sobering.

Thanks Pecman!

It probably didn't make the International news, but one school here in Victoria has just had their fourth suicide this year :( Cyber-bullying is being blamed as part of the cause.

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  • 1 year later...

And just to update this 2008 murder story: the killer, Brandon McInerney, who was 14 at the time of the shooting and is now 17, is being tried as an adult on charges of first-degree murder, use of a handgun and a hate crime.

By an amazing coincidence, his trial has been moved to Chatsworth -- about 2 miles from where I write these words. I'm going to follow this story closely. I'd really like to know what possessed the kid to go home, get a gun, go to sleep, wake up the next morning, bring the gun to school, and shoot the gay kid in the back of the head, twice.

This wasn't a murder: it was an execution. I still think there's a deeper story here.

Ongoing story on CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/07/05/califo....html?hpt=hp_t2

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By any stretch of the imagination, it was a horrendous crime. I think, however, one of our legal tenets is a speedy trial. Waiting two and a half years to begin, so the defendent is 17 instead of 14, certainly changes the way he looks in court, and almost certain affects the way he'll be viewed by a jury.

While there'd certainly be some reluctance to throw the book at a 14-year-old, and so much motivation to look into the underlying causes of his actions, after being locked up in a youth facility for as long as he has been I doubt his appearance now will effect nearly the pause by the jury it would have then.

C

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If he had just pled guilty (which he should have) three years ago, I bet he could've gotten a fairly minimal sentence, like 7-10 years. He could have been out on parole by 2016, at the age of 22. Now, the murderer runs the risk of being sentenced to the death penalty or life.

Again, if there weren't 35 witnesses, I would have a lot more compassion for the kid, and I'd say there was an element of doubt. But he's hands-down guilty in this instance.

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If he had just pled guilty (which he should have) three years ago, I bet he could've gotten a fairly minimal sentence, like 7-10 years. He could have been out on parole by 2016, at the age of 22. Now, the murderer runs the risk of being sentenced to death penalty or life.

Again, if there weren't 35 witnesses, I would have a lot more compassion for the kid, and I'd say there was an element of doubt. But he's hands-down guilty in this instance.

I agreee that there's never been any question of his guilt. The questions is, should a kid of 14 be held to the same legal standards as an adult?

C

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By any stretch of the imagination, it was a horrendous crime. I think, however, one of our legal tenets is a speedy trial. Waiting two and a half years to begin, so the defendent is 17 instead of 14, certainly changes the way he looks in court, and almost certain affects the way he'll be viewed by a jury.
I believe you can credit the defendants lawyers with most, if not all, of the delays in bringing this case to trial.

I agree with E.J. It's what happens in murder cases these days. The defense is surrounded by news, videos, and commentary to the point that everyone knows that the defendant is (or is not) guilty.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I agree with E.J. It's what happens in murder cases these days. The defense is surrounded by news, videos, and commentary to the point that everyone knows that the defendant is (or is not) guilty.

So you're saying that the 35 eyewitnesses to the murder in the classroom are mistaken? The fact that the handgun was registered to the kid's father? The fact that his fingerprints were on the bullets? He had powder burns on his chest? All this evidence does not count?

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So you're saying that the 35 eyewitnesses to the murder in the classroom are mistaken? The fact that the handgun was registered to the kid's father? The fact that his fingerprints were on the bullets? He had powder burns on his chest? All this evidence does not count?

No, I'm saying just the opposite. Because of the 35 witnesses, fingerprints, etc. etc. and all of the publicity that this evidence has received, the defense is doing everything they can to delay the trial. Historically the facts are clear: delay helps the defense, not the prosecution.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I'm of the mind that kids should not be tried as adults--they are not adults--no matter how heinous the crime. I'll even concede to the notion of "the bad seed syndrome,' no matter how loving an upbringing a child has been given, they can turn out to be just rotten kids. This however is a rare syndrome. And even in this circumstance, I still do not believe being tried as an adult is justified or an answer. Children do not come into this world with hate. It is learned. Teen years at best are riddled with all sorts of problems and challenges: peer pressure, religious indoctrination, etc. At 14, in my mind, there is hope to turn a kid around, even if they commited a terrible crime.

I truly feel for the family of the victim as well as the family of the perpetrator. I think justice should be served. Get this kid help. To me this would be fair and just. Sometimes I think we as a society want to exact revenge or avenge--normal feelings I agree. However, no one comes out a winner.

This is my humble opinion and I know many will disagree. I pose this query: What do we gain, or who gains by trying this kid as an adult?

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There was a time when I might have subscribed to the bad seed syndrome, but after having not only our two kids, but multiple other kids to observe I cannot subscribe to that theory any longer.

How parents (or other adults) treat children in the early formation years is probably the most important factor in what that child will grow into as they age. The younger you can get in there and stop bad influences from affecting a very young child, the better. As they get older, changing their bad habits, or bad outlook on life gets harder. It can still be done, but it requires adults with the experience and knowledge to do it, and children who want to make that change as well.

Even in the case of this offender, if the perpetrator truly wants to change, wants to make his life better, I'd support giving him a chance. Yet, even for those that want to make the positive change it is extremely difficult and never guaranteed.

Bottom line is that bad kids become bad kids because of poor parenting and bad adults around them. With a lot of love, hard work, and experienced assistance they can become better. Every child, and yes 14 is still a child, deserves that second chance. Unfortunately our legal system is not set up for helping people, only for enacting retribution upon people who break the laws.

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