Another update in the prosecution of Brandon McInerney, the 14-year-old accused of gunning down openly gay classmate Lawrence King. A judge denies a requested showing how Ventura County prosecutors decide when juvenile offenders will be tried as adults. The Ventura County Star:
McInerney's lawyers, Scott Wippert of United Defense Group of Studio City and Robyn Bramson of North Hollywood, recently filed the discovery motion, seeking notes, communications, correspondence, internal memos and other documents they say will give them insight in to how prosecutors made the decision.
Wippert said prosecutors never looked into such things as McInerney's school or family situations.
Wippert argued in court that the District Attorney's Office didn't use discretion, failing to look at such things as the circumstances surrounding the case or McInerney's school or home life. That violated the defendant's constitutional right to due process, he said.
He said he doesn't understand why prosecutors refuse to give defense lawyers information about the decision-making process. "It's a scary world to think that a DA has unfettered discretion to do whatever they want," Wippert said.
McInerney is charged with first-degree murder and a hate crime in the Feb. 12 slaying of 15-year-old Lawrence King at their E.O. Green school in Oxnard. McInerney allegedly shot King after his classmate—who was biracial, openly gay and sometimes wore makeup—gave him a Valentine Day's card. The 15-year-old King's brutal murder has helped raised awareness around bullying, gay youth and gender identity.
The decision to prosecute McInerney as an adult was somewhat controversial and a number of gay activists and organizations lobbied against the decision. McInerney faces a sentence of 51 years to life if convicted of all the charges.
Some Background ...
Defense Will Have Access to King's Records [R20]
Defense in King Case Looking for Speedy Trial [R20]
King's Alleged Killer Will Be Tried As An Adult [R20]
Will Lawrence King's Killer Be Tried As An Adult? [R20]
Mixed Messages [Advocate.com]
Newsweek's Disturbing Feature on Lawrence King [R20]
WaPo Profiles 15-Year-Old Openly Gay Teen [R20]
News: Noah's Arc, Lawrence King, Black Gay Youth [R20]
News: Pope, Lawrence King, Simmie Williams [R20]
News: Obama, Clinton, Pharrell, Lawrence King [R20]