Murder in the Classroom


An unfortunate juxtoposition of headlines at the L.A. Times.

Writes Dan Savage: "Too bad that gay kid didn't make the honor roll."

Larry King's father lashed out at the jury during today's sentencing:

Greg King, reading a biting four-page statement to the court before Brandon McInerney was sentenced to 21 years in state prison, called jurors "incompetent" for failing to reach a verdict in the murder trial. McInerney pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and manslaughter rather than go to trial a second time.

More on the McInerney sentencing here, earlier.


  1. CJ says

    If Brandon were black–or if Lawrence were white or Asian–then he very well may have gotten 155 years. Racism is as much at work in these sentences as homophobia. As tragic as both events are, it saddens me that we send any juvenile offender to prison for the entirety of their adult life.

  2. Paul R says

    I deeply feel for any parent who loses a child, no matter the cause (though cold-blooded classroom murder is definitely among the harsher possibilities). But Larry’s father wasn’t there during his life, so his outrage after his death doesn’t generate nearly as much sympathy as it should.

    Hopefully it springs from guilt and he’ll work to prevent future injustices. Or maybe he’s laying the groundwork for a civil case, as though McInerney’s family is loaded down with money. I hate to sound so cynical, but both boys came from crappy families.

  3. jason says

    Yes, if Brandon McInerney were black and Lawrence King were white and not biracial, of course McInerney would have received a harsher sentence. Why do people pretend otherwise? The data are clear that race plays a MAJOR role in sentencing. The jury saw cute, young white Brandon and identified with him based on their cultural bias. Brown, biracial Lawrence was a queer kid who “preyed” on Brandon and we get a hung jury. Many judges also fall the same bias.

    Combine racism with gay panic and you get this kind of sentence.

    Of course, the reality is that McInerney should never have been tried as an adult.

  4. Kelly Young says

    Wow! Just when you think there is nothing to feel good about in the resolution of Lawrence King’s execution-style murder, it turns out that there is even less than nothing to feel good about. What a hideous signal this sends to the gay community, the anti-gay community, the black community, and so on.

  5. says

    Actually Vinson was sentenced to 50 years to life on the first-degree murder charge for killing Melody Ross the honor student and two terms of 40 years to life for the attempted murder of his other two intended targets.

    Still very lopsided

  6. says

    Of course this is a bit more complicated than either Dan or Andy gets into to make their point. As one of the posters on the Slog writes: “Although race and the victims’ genders and sexual identities may have played some role, there were lots of other factors that could plausibly explain the disparities in sentencing. Both were minors, but one committed the murder at 14, the other at 16. Gang membership of the 16-year-old was probably a factor. And taking a plea for a reduced sentence was certainly a factor.”

    There’s enough awfulness in both cases that we don’t need sensationalistic approaches.

    That said, I’m a big fan of both this blog and Savage’s work.

  7. snowisfun says

    Lawrence King was anti-social. Among the deeds that Lawrence King did which most Towleroad bloggers don’t care was Lawrence King would ask other boys for sex in the bathroom Larry Craig style & Lawrence King also on 1 occasion masturbated in front of others. Lawrence King repeatedly proposed after he said no.

    OK, I admit I’m against gay/lesbian activities but once no is said, to repeatedly propose after you’ve been told no is harassment. Asking others for sex in the bathroom as Lawrence King did is harassment & the 1 time incident of Lawrence King masturbating in front of others ‘touching himself’ is indecency. Yes, getting shot in the head is excessive, but I agree that it’s manslaughter & 7 jurors who voted for manslaughter considered Lawrence King’s anti-social conduct when the complaints were made.

    When students complained about Lawrence King going into the bathroom lockerroom to solicit sex, the lesbian VP Joy Epstein refused to expel Lawrence King from school & Lawrence King harassed the boy who would shoot & kill him. Lawrence King (cobra) was anti-social & any1 who sees nothing wrong with Lawrence King’s anti-social conduct has something wrong with them. If Lawrence King had been expelled when the complaints were made, his killing may have been avoided. While I know that gay/lesbian activities by willing adults in the U.S. is legal, it’s a crime to sexually harass others & it’s worse for the schools to have allowed it. I oppose starting fights but if a gay is going to be anti-social such as commit assault&battery or harass others Larry Craig style as Lawrence King did, then there’s no need to tolerate the abuse. To suggest that people put up with Lawrence King’s anti-social conduct is evil. Finally Greg King who is Lawrence King’s father is an evil bastard as is Lawrence King’s mom Dawn King. Greg King lectures smell as bad as Dawn King’s smelly turds.

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