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Convicted murderer Russell Henderson seeks sentence reduction

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freetobegay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 08:49 AM
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Convicted murderer Russell Henderson seeks sentence reduction
One of two men convicted of murdering gay college student Matthew Shepard five years ago wants a chance to argue for a lighter sentence, claiming he was not properly informed of his appeal options after pleading guilty.

In an agreement with prosecutors to avoid a possible death penalty, Russell Henderson pleaded guilty April 5, 1999, to felony murder and kidnapping in Shepard's death and received two consecutive life terms without parole. Henderson's current attorney, Tim Newcomb, filed a petition alleging the state's appellate lawyers "failed even to consult with regarding any of his rights as provided by law following a guilty plea."

Under Wyoming law, a petition for postconviction relief must be filed within five years after conviction. Newcomb's petition was filed Friday, three days before the deadline. He asks that if state district judge Jeffrey A. Donnell finds that Henderson was denied effective assistance, a one-year clock be restarted for filing a request for sentence reduction.

According to authorities, Henderson and Aaron McKinney, both 21 at the time of Shepard's murder, kidnapped, pistol-whipped, robbed, and left Shepard tied to a fence outside Laramie in October 1998. The 21-year-old University of Wyoming student died five days later at a hospital from massive head injuries. Police said the attack was motivated by robbery and Shepard's being gay. The crime drew worldwide condemnation and led to demands for stronger hate-crime laws around the country.


This Bastard needs to die a very slow & agonizing death! I would even volunteer to throw the switch!
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Dogmudgeon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-08-04 09:23 AM
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1. More important than revenge
Russell Henderson, alive and well-treated by the law, will forever be an icon of anti-gay hatred. If he "reforms" even a tiny little bit, the knowlege of his crime will gnaw into his brain like a hungry worm.

In addition, every three or five years (or whatever the term is), he comes up for parole, and it allows the topic of hate crime out of its own closet for a week or two, at least. The Republicans and Conservatives have marginalized hate-crime discussions. Henderson serves as living proof of the need for better legal protection against sexuality-based hatred.

If we kill the bastard, the world forgets about him. No object-lesson, no symbol of hatred, and one less reason to seek better hate-crime law and to remember the life of Matthew Shepard.

Russell Henderson's life is effectively over, anyway. Let him live with that for another 50 or 60 years -- and then, a quick decent into the Lake of Fire, if his fellow gay-hating "Christians" are right.

The continued existence of Russell Henderson hurts. Let's not be selfish with our pain.

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