Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Two Teenaged Killers Sentenced To Decades In Prison

The Los Angeles Times reports that Brandon McInerney was sentenced yesterday by a judge to 21 years in prison (without the possibility of early release due to the terms of the plea agreement with prosecutors) for the brutal killing of his middle-school classmate on February 12, 2008 so that he will be almost 39 years old when he leaves prison, having spent more than half his life behind bars.

Lawrence King's father Greg King read a statement in court before the sentencing in which he lambasted various groups and entities:
Though he holds McInerney responsible for shooting his son, King said the school's response since the shooting has been despicable.

District leaders have made no changes in policy or procedures, saying they are unnecessary because the school's staff followed the law in allowing Larry to augment his school uniform with women's accessories. To date, no formal changes have been made, although the school district paid $25,000 toward a $255,000 civil lawsuit settlement for King's family.

"It is obvious the school did something wrong," King spat out at the hearing. "Rather than learning from it and striving to make a safer environment for our children, they hid behind lawyers."

McInerney's neck grew flushed as King spoke. The teenager, whose feet were shackled and who wore a white T-shirt and baggy blue pants, declined to make a statement. But his attorney, Scott Wippert, said his client was remorseful.

"He has stated repeatedly that if he could go back and take back his act, he would do it in a heartbeat,'' Wippert said as his client sat silently. "He lives with this every day, every night."

The attorney said McInerney also apologized to the King family, to his own family and to classmates in the computer lab where he pulled a .22-caliber handgun out of a backpack and shot King at point-blank range. Some of his former classmates were in court Monday, wiping tears from their eyes.
Greg King also addressed his son's killer directly, saying: “You took upon yourself to be a bully and to hate a smaller kid, wanting to be a big man on campus,” Greg King told McInerney. “You have left a hole in my heart where Larry was and it can never be filled.”

Bizarrely, today, just one day after the McInerney sentencing, another teenage killer, Tom Lore Vinson was sentenced to 155(!) years for the accidental killing of 16-year-old high school honor student Melody Ross while shooting at two rival gang members October 31, 2009.

Is what Vinson did 7 time worse than what Brandon McInerney did? Why is his sentence 7 times longer then?

Things that make you go hmmmmmmmmmm!

1 comment:

Bryan J Blumberg said...

I would like to think that Vinson was given a longer sentence than McInerney for the following reasons:

(1) Vinson's crime was gang related, so the judge may be hoping to "send a message" that gang violence will be dealt with severely in his court.

(2) The LA Time article that you linked to did not mention whether Vinson would become eligible for parole or early release, so I'll assume that he will be, but the longer sentence will prevent him from becoming eligible for parole any time soon.

(3) McInerey had already been put on trial, but the jury could not reach a verdict. Ultimately, his man slaughter conviction and his sentence were arrived at via a plea agreement.

(4) I am hoping that the reason why McInerney got a lighter sentence was not related to the fact that his victim was a gay boy, rather than a girl.


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