Monday, June 21, 2010

LAW - Consequences, Arizona "Hateful" Law

"Phoenix murder of Latino man called hate crime" by Michael Kiefer and Michael Ferraresi, 6/18/2010


The Maricopa County Attorney's Office has alleged that the May 6 fatal shooting of a Mexican-American man in south Phoenix by a neighbor shouting racial epithets was a hate crime.

The allegation was filed June 9 as one of six aggravating factors that the office raised in the case of Gary Thomas Kelley. Aggravating factors allow judges to enhance prison sentences in the event of a conviction.

Kelley, 50, is charged with second-degree murder in the killing of Juan Varela, 44. He also is accused of menacing Varela's brother Antonio with a gun.

According to initial police reports, Kelley shouted, "Hurry up and go back to Mexico or you're gonna die." Varela, in fact, was a third-generation, native-born U.S. citizen.

Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley said Thursday that the decision to add hate crime as an aggravating factor came when those statements were corroborated.

"Aggravating factors" are allegations that allow a judge to impose a harsher sentence once a defendant is convicted.

Bold emphasis mine

While Arizona's law is not DIRECTLY responsible for this crime, it fosters such crimes from people already prejudice against anyone not white and they (wrongly) blame for all their ills.

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