Two Jurors In McInerney Trial Speak
The Advocate reports:
Two jurors in the California trial of Brandon McInerney, who shot gay 15-year-old Lawrence King twice in the head in 2008, spoke to a Los Angeles Fox affiliate to share their conflicted feelings about the case, which ended in a hung jury this month.
"We all lost sleep over it, we all thought about it first thing in the morning, last thing at night," juror Karen McElhaney told Fox 11 reporter Christina Gonzalez. “We have to decide this child’s fate but we also can’t forget about the victim either.”
McInerney, currently 17, faced a first-degree murder charge that would have sentenced him to prison for over 50 years. A voluntary manslaughter conviction, sought by McInerney’s defense team, would have netted approximately 20.
Rosalie Black, an alternate juror, also spoke to Gonzalez. Both McElhaney and Black expressed deep sorrow for the tragedy that took King’s life. They admitted that both sides — jurors pushing for a murder conviction and those wanting a voluntary manslaughter ruling — were passionate, though there were more jurors advocating a manslaughter conviction. More than buying into a “gay panic” argument that was put forth by McInerney’s defense, it seemed McInerney’s age was a factor.
"I don’t ever want to discount the young man who died," Black told Gonzalez. "I just don’t ever want to discount that. But I also don’t think Brandon was an adult and shouldn’t be tried as an adult."
McElhaney echoed those statements: “Yes, he knows right from wrong, but he was 14, just turned 14, and 14-year-olds, especially young men, are not known for their decision making.” McElhaney said she believes McInerney regrets killing King.
Both jurors told Gonazlez it would be a mistake to retry the case, which Ventura County prosecutors have vowed to do. If the case isn’t retried, prosecutors could try to make a deal with McInerney’s defense team and negotiate a sentence.
As Black put it, “In the end, nobody won.”