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Aaron McKinney found guilty for the murder of Matthew Shepardavoided the death penalty Shepards lawyer agreed to a deal thatMcKinneys lawyer proposed giving Aaron McKinney life imprisonmentrather than the death penaltyAaron McKinney a 21 year-old drop out and drug dealer beat openlygay college student Matthew Shepard and left him to die on the prairieRussel Henderson the first to be convicted for the murder of MatthewShepard pleaded guilty earlier this year McKinnery was convicted onNovember 6th of this year for murder aggravated robbery and kidnappingfor luring Shepard from a local bar robbing him of twenty dollarslashing him to a fence and cracking his skull with blows from a pistol McKinney was sentenced to life in prison without parole and promisingnever to appeal his convictions I would like nothing better than to seeyou die Mr McKinney but now is the time to begin the healingprocess Shepards father Dennis said in court Investigators stated thatthe main motive was robbery but because Shepard was gay he wassingled out McKinneys lawyer argued that McKinney snapped during adrunken-drug induced rage after a sexual advance by Shepard triggeredmemories of a childhood homosexual assault Information from pastarticles on this case have shown that McKinneys lawyer tried to use agay-panic defense stating that it was the action of Shepards sexualadvance that triggered his actions and not because of the fact that Shepardwas gay The gay-panic defense was shot down by District JudgeBarton Voigt The father of the murdered stated that this was a hate-crime pureand simple with the added ingredient of robbery He also askedCongress 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 penaltiesconnected with hate-crimes It could make the administration think andask the question Should hate-crime offenders have stricter penalties toface Questions like this could slow down the trial system making theexpenses of the trial rise This case
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