Bullying | California | Crime | Lawrence King | News

Lawrence King's Killer Brandon McInerney to be Tried as Adult

Ventura County Superior Court Judge Douglas Daily ruled yesterday that Brandon McInerney, the 14-year-old who shot and killed his classmate Lawrence King at school in February and was charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime, can be tried as an adult. Said Daily: "I cannot say that this is unconstitutional."

KingmcinerneyAccording to the Ventura County Star, "Before making his ruling, Daily heard legal arguments for about 30 minutes from McInerney's lawyer, William 'Willy' Quest, and from a prosecutor, Senior Deputy District Attorney Maeve Fox, on whether the teen can be tried in adult court rather than juvenile court. In 2000, California voters approved Proposition 21, which widened prosecutors' authority to file charges in adult court against juveniles 14 and older without having to go to a judge. Before he made his findings, the judge called for a 20-minute break to go back to his chambers to read the California Supreme Court cases cited by Quest and Fox in their legal petitions."

Quest, as well as a coalition of gay groups including Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Transgender Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, Equality California, Gay Straight Alliance Network, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, had urged the court to try McInerney as a juvenile.

McInerney's arraignment is now scheduled for August 7.

More from the County Star on the arguments heard in court.

King_2Meanwhile, folks are rightly still outraged about the Newsweek cover story on the King murder published this week.

Writes Sara Whitman in the Huffington Post: "Read the article and you'll be informed that in fact, Larry was the problem. He was always the problem. And while kids are experimenting with sexuality at younger and younger ages overall, being gay is dangerous. Heterosexual play is fine but, 'Kids may want to express who they are, but they are playing grown-up without fully knowing what that means.' What does that mean? The article is one of the poorest forms of journalism I've ever read. If it is an Opinion piece, okay, but to write 'Even as homosexuality has become more accepted, the prospect of being openly gay in middle school raises a troubling set of issues' and to state it as fact?"

You may remember a similarly horrible piece published in Time shortly after the killing which suggested that gay groups exaggerate the amount of bullying made against kids because of their sexual orientation in order to make the situation sound more dire and drum up the need for legislation.

For all our Lawrence King coverage, click HERE.

Previously
McInerney Lawyer Promises Not to 'Gay Bash' in Lawrence King Case [tr]
Arraignment of Teen who Killed Lawrence King Postponed [tr]
Attorney for Lawrence King's Killer Faults School for Shooting [tr]

Feed This post's comment feed

Comments

  1. Laurence, it's all symptoms of a bigger disease. Sorry you can't see that.

    Yeek, you are absolutely correct.

    The McInerney boy repeatidly shot King with the intent to kill him, all bacause of homophobia. I believe McInerney's parents should be put on trial also.

    I do not feel sorry for the killer. He deserves to be locked away forever where he can't pollute others with his way of thinking.

    An adult would recieve a life sentence. Why is this boy's actions any different and why should the law go easy on him?

    Posted by: Bobby | Jul 25, 2008 3:33:46 PM


  2. Well, Bobby, perhaps the answer to your rhetorical question lies partly in the arguments of Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the Transgender Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, Equality California, Gay Straight Alliance Network, Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and your own eloquent description: he is a juvenile, not an adult. Which in no way diminishes the horror and tragedy of his actions. I, too, have precious little sympathy for a 14-year old Nazi-obsessed killer. Lawrence King was murdered by a boy who has been taught to hate and justifiably kill homosexuals. But trying Brandon McInerney as an adult and punishing him with a lifetime of incarceration will not help the fight against homophobia. If anything, it is a strategy which risks playing into the hands of our enemies. It is a mirror image of that ugly need of fundamentalism for punishment, for retribution, for revenge.

    Posted by: Laurence Ballard | Jul 25, 2008 5:21:06 PM


  3. In regards to CCH, "homophobia seem like a natural reaction to something that is wrong" this usually IS normal in kids. They're going to respond in any number of ways to this sort of thing and, as a gay guy, I'm sorry but I can't call this a hate crime. 1st degree murder, yes, but not a hate crime because imagine what was going on through Brandon's head. Like everyone said, they were children. Children aren't adults and don't think like adults all the time, especially when SEXuality or SEX is involved. Come on now. Had Brandon been 20, it would be a different story.

    Posted by: J | Jul 25, 2008 7:21:31 PM


  4. BOBBY, Those damned BULLETS didn't know how old that MURDERER was!

    Posted by: SONNIE | Jul 25, 2008 8:09:16 PM


  5. The usefulness of punishment through jail time or more severe punishment and his and culpability at age 14 are actually two separate issues that are being conflated. The former is actually a superimposed theory of justice. The theory of right or wrong, rather than usefulness is often the justification behind rulings. You are punished because you did wrong, not because it will help you (the offender) or even the victim. And apparently, this region of the country has determined that 14 year olds and higher know right from wrong. Debate that separately if you will.

    Posted by: B | Jul 25, 2008 10:33:43 PM


  6. "I'm sorry but I can't call this a hate crime. 1st degree murder, yes, but not a hate crime because imagine what was going on through Brandon's head. Like everyone said, they were children."

    I don't follow this logic at all. In my opinion, children are if anything MORE likely to hate simplistically than adults. It's usually their parents' fault, but they are less likely to have a nuanced view of identities of any kind.

    Posted by: Kevinvt | Jul 26, 2008 12:15:55 AM


  7. This killer should be tried as an adult for sure, and some of the media is now showing him in a sympathetic light. He should and will be tried as an adult for the cold blooded homophobic killing he committed . Society needs to see that there are consequences for such horrific hate crimes.

    Posted by: chad | Jul 26, 2008 2:20:06 AM


  8. This killer should be tried as an adult for sure, and some of the media is now showing him in a sympathetic light. He should and will be tried as an adult for the cold blooded homophobic killing he committed . Society needs to see that there are consequences for such horrific hate crimes.

    Posted by: chad | Jul 26, 2008 2:22:19 AM


  9. The Newsweek article didn't outrage me. It just made me sad. Sad for a world in which the Larrys and Brandons have so little stability, so little parenting, so little support. I cannot say whether Brandon should be tried as an adult or not, or go to prison for life. I don't envy the Solomonic task before his jury. I do know, though, that many of the people posting comments here seem to be projecting their own experiences onto the situation, and holding Brandon responsible for all the bullying they received in their lives. Just because Larry was gay, doesn't mean he was without fault, or could not be an aggressor - it sounds like he very publicly humiliated another troubled young person, who did not have the maturity to laugh it off or react appropriately.

    Posted by: K Dub | Jul 26, 2008 12:06:26 PM


  10. B, I completely agree with you.

    Laurence, you seem to be gong back to that "common good" theme, which in my opinion is the exact antithesis of justice for the individual. What is "best for society" has no place in determining whether or not a person should be punished for a crime, or (on the flip side) whether a detested individual or minority should have certain civil rights.

    There are times, of course, when we can punish someone and attempt to rehabilitate them while they are being punished. However, rehabilitation and creating a more harmonious society are secondary goals that must never outweigh the goal of justice.

    As far as justice vs. revenge goes, that's one of those "freshman English" debates where people love to get all red in the face but nobody really defines the terms they're arguing about. My little Webster's defines revenge as "inflicting punishment in return for injury."

    By that definition, revenge merely describes a motive, not a quality (like "justice"). Revenge can be just, or it can be unjust. Shooting someone in the head because of some perceived slight is a form of revenge that is unjust. Publicly humiliating someone who molested you as a child is form of revenge that is just (in my opinion). Both are revenge, but only one is just.

    The punitive aspect of our justice system strives to be a method of socially approved, equitable, considerate revenge. The system tries to use reasonable argument from both sides, existing social standards, and the opinion of 12 people who are intimately associated with the details of the case to determine whether punishment is indeed due in return for injury. I think that's appropriate and what we should ask for in this case.

    Posted by: Yeek | Jul 26, 2008 12:47:06 PM


  11. the wringing of hands over the fate of this sociopath makes me ill. weren't we all fourteen once? did any of us plan a murder over a perceived insult? did we go to sleep and wake up the following morning and put two bullets into the head of a defensless person?

    no? then shut up about it. i am sick of the psycho-babble. this kid is twisted and should be put away for life for the assassin (yes, assassin) that he is. end of story.

    Posted by: nic | Jul 26, 2008 1:19:41 PM


  12. With respect to the Newsweek article... this is the straw that breaks the camel's back for me; I'm cancelling my subscription. Newsweek used to publish noteworthy articles on current issues, but nowadays it's just a weekly version of USA Today. That combined with the fact that its editor in chief is a pretty blatant right-winger (very transparent during his Sunday news show appearances) makes me not want to support this publication any more.

    Posted by: Paul | Jul 27, 2008 10:25:00 AM


  13. I totally agree with Sara Whitman 100%. We hear so many stories about kids bringing guns to school, nobody seems to care. But a boy dressing up in girls clothes, wearing makeup, open about being gay, OUTRAGEOUS! HE SHOULD BE STOPPED! *shakes head*

    Posted by: Jai | Jul 28, 2008 10:42:55 AM


  14. I live in Camarillo, and I used to live in Port Hueneme, where this whole situation happened.

    My mom is very good friends with Lawrence's mother.

    He used to come over with her all the time.

    He was one of the sweetest kids I had ever met. He would come over just to play with our animals. [we own a pet store, and we have quite a few animals]

    And the way he was when he would play with our dogs or horses, was just so kind. They were his friends.

    He never deserved to be treated the way he was. And the way the media is trying to almost turn people against him is disgusting.

    Take it from someone who knew him very well, he did not deserve this.

    Also, on a side-note, I knew Brandon as well. His brother was in the young marines with my brother.

    He was a very troubled kid, and should have been helped many years ago.

    Larry's mom tried talking to counselors many times about it.

    But to no avail, and now it's too late.

    Posted by: Alex | Jul 28, 2008 2:41:02 PM


  15. I live in Camarillo, and I used to live in Port Hueneme, where this whole situation happened.

    My mom is very good friends with Lawrence's mother.

    He used to come over with her all the time.

    He was one of the sweetest kids I had ever met. He would come over just to play with our animals. [we own a pet store, and we have quite a few animals]

    And the way he was when he would play with our dogs or horses, was just so kind. They were his friends.

    He never deserved to be treated the way he was. And the way the media is trying to almost turn people against him is disgusting.

    Take it from someone who knew him very well, he did not deserve this.

    Also, on a side-note, I knew Brandon as well. His brother was in the young marines with my brother.

    He was a very troubled kid, and should have been helped many years ago.

    Larry's mom tried talking to counselors many times about it.

    But to no avail, and now it's too late.

    Posted by: Alex | Jul 28, 2008 2:42:56 PM


  16. Ha! And what's so ironic about the Newsweek article is that its writer, Ramin Setoodeh, is one of the gayest men I've ever seen. Just listening to him talk was borderline shocking, knowing that he wrote that idiotic article.

    Posted by: John | Aug 10, 2008 8:10:07 PM


  17. Sorry Lambda Legal- I am a contributor, but on this one I say fry the kids rotten ass.

    Posted by: charley | Dec 30, 2008 1:47:52 PM


  18. « 1 2

Post a comment







Trending


« «Qantas 747 Makes Emergency Landing in Manila with Gaping Hole« «