Aaron McKinney, found guilty for the murder of Matthew Shepard, avoided the death penalty. Shepards lawyer agreed to a deal that McKinneys lawyer proposed giving Aaron McKinney life imprisonment Aaron McKinney, a 21 year-old drop out and drug dealer, beat openly gay college student Matthew Shepard and left him to die on the prairie. Russel Henderson, the first to be convicted for the murder of Matthew Shepard, pleaded guilty earlier this year. McKinnery was convicted on November 6th of this year for murder, aggravated robbery and kidnapping for luring Shepard from a local bar, robbing him of twenty dollars, lashing him to a fence and cracking his skull with blows from a pistol. McKinney was sentenced to life in prison without parole and promising never to appeal his convictions. I would like nothing better than to see you die, Mr. McKinney, but now is the time to begin the healing process. Shepards father, Dennis, said in court. Investigators stated that the main motive was robbery, but because Shepard was gay he was singled out.
McKinneys lawyer argued that McKinney snapped during a drunken-drug induced rage after a sexual advance by Shepard triggered memories of a childhood homosexual assault. Information from past articles on this case have shown that McKinneys lawyer tried to use a gay-panic defense stating that it was the action of Shepards sexual advance that triggered his actions and not because of the fact that Shepard was gay. The gay-panic defense was shot down by District Judge The father of the murdered stated that this was a hate-crime, pure and simple, with the added ingredient of robbery. He also asked Congress to pass a stronger hate-crime law. The statements by Shepards father shows how hate-crime trials effect the administration of justice because it shows how there is a greater need for harsher penalties connected with hate-crimes. It could make the administration think and ask the question: Should hate-crime offenders have stricter penalties to face? Questions like this could slow down the trial system making the expenses of the trial rise.
... head trauma in a robbery and hate crime assault (Matthew Shepard, 2000 [on-line]). Matthew Shepard met Aaron McKinney (22) and Russell Henderson (21) ... to avoid the death penalty. The charge of premeditated murder would be dropped. The judge accepted the verdict ... of those factors created a "gay panic" within McKinney, meaning that it amplified McKinney's own homophobia combined with a self-loathing ...
This case could also have a strong effect on our societies. Cases like this could make people more confident in judicial system, knowing that people who commit hate-crimes will get harsh sentences. It could also show the criminals in our societies how harsh the penalties for a hate-crime can be, maybe persuading them not to commit these crimes at all. A case like this could also make people more scared because of the fact that there are these kind of people out there that will commit these kinds of serious crimes. Homosexuals in our societies can also look at this case as a step forward, showing that a gay-panic or homosexual-panic defense will not be an excuse for committing a There are many insights that I have gained by studying this case. The first being the gay-panic issue.
I have learned that today in many states and courts will not accept this defense as an excuse for an assault or murder. Another insight that I have learned is how the prosecutor and the defense can make deals so the criminal will get a less serious punishment. I have learned how this case can effect the administration of justice and the people in our societies in many ways shapes and forms.
Shepards killer to go to prison. Times Union 5 Nov. 1999: A3..