Friday, November 30, 2007

Little Value Put On Life Of Gay Murdered by Brute

I posted about the death of Sean Kennedy back in the spring. Sadly, as the Greenville, South Carolina News is reporting (, his murderer is getting off lightly and the police did not have the balls to call the attack a hate crime. If the Greenville cops are like many of those in this area, they would not recognize a hate crime if it beat them over the head. So much for justice in the South. Somehow, I suspect that Moller will have little remorse other than that he did not get off totally free. It will be interesting to see if he even gets convicted of the less manslaughter charge. I am not going to hold my breath. here are some story highlights:

Judge Roger Couch this morning set bond at $25,000 and ordered home detention for Stephen Andrew Moller, 19, of Taylors, who was indicted by a Greenville grand jury on a charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Sean Kennedy. Kennedy died after he was punched in the face outside a Pelham Road nightclub May 16, according to a Greenville County Sheriff's incident report. Sheriff's Office investigator Paul Silvaggio testified today in Greenville County Circuit Court that after an "extensive investigation," he determined that Kennedy's homosexuality did not motivate the attack. He also testified that his investigation found that Kennedy was punched once in the face and fell and struck his head on asphalt.

Kennedy's mother Elke Kennedy addressed the court, saying "At least he gets to live. My son won't be home for Christmas." She characterized Moller as a "violent man," and has previously objected to the reduction in charge from murder to involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of five years. She has said that her son was openly gay and she has advocated for the passage of hate-crime laws that would apply to sexual orientation. Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor Bob Ariail has said the charge of involuntary manslaughter is not sufficient, but "correct under the law."

Just as upsetting is the fact that many of the reader comments posted on the news are blatantly homophobic and hate-filled. One reader correctly summed up the state of affairs for both Greenville and much of the South:

This is murder, pure and simple and if the victim had not been gay, Moller would have been charged with murder. Good old Christian ethics at work in the deep south. If you're gay, black, asian or anything but white, you're not going to get justice from these psalm singing hypocrites.

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