Matthew Shepard

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Matthew Wayne Shepard (Decembrie 1, 1976 – Octombrie 12, 1998) a fost un student al Universității din Wyoming, care a fost torturat și ulterior ucis lângă Laramie, Wyoming. Acesta a fost atacat în seara de 6-7octombrie 1998 și a decedat la 12 octombrie în Spitalul Poudre Valley din Fort Collins, Colorado, datorită unor răni severe la nivelul capului.

În timpul procesului, martorii au susținut că Shepard a fost asaltat deoarece era homosexual. Crima asupa lui Mattew a atras atenție deopotrivă națională și internațională asupra problemelor legate de crimele din ură.[1]

Russell Arthur Henderson s-a simțit vinovat pentru crimă și răpire, lucru care l-a salvat de la pedeapsa cu moartea. Aaron James McKinney a fost inchis pentru crimă si răpire. Henderson are de petrecut doua sentinte de condamnare pe viată consecutive, in timp de McKinney are aceeasi soartă, însă fără posibilitatea promisiunii solemne.[2]

Trecutul[modificare | modificare sursă]

Matthew Shepard s-a nascut in Casper, Wyoming, fiind fiul cel mare al cuplului format din Dennis and Judy Shepard. Urmeaza cursurile scolii publice Natrona, inclusiv Scoala Elementara Crest Hill si liceul Dean Morgan. Urmeaza cursurile liceului din Natrona County un an, transferandu+se la Scoala Americana din Elvetia. Dupa ce este absolvent al liceului in 1995, el urmeaza cursurile Facultatii Catawba si Casper, inainte sa fie trimis in Denver, Colorado. Shepard se va specializa in stiinte politice in primul sau an la Wyoming University, fiind ales ca reprezentant pentru Consiliul Wyoming Environmental.[1]

Parintii lui l+au descris ca fiind un tanar optimist si tolerant care avea un dar special al legarii legaturilor intre aproape oricine. Era genul de om care era foarte abordabil, mereu cautand noi provocari. Matthew era pasionat de egalitate si mereu lupta pentru toleranta diferentelor oamenilor."[1]

Datorita sexualitatii sale, Shepard a suferit abuzuri fizice si verbale. In timpul unei excursii din liceu la Morocco, a fost batut si violat, facandu-l sa se retraga si sa aiba accese de depresie si atacuri de panica. Unul din prietenii lui Shepard s-a temut ca aceasta depresie l-ar fi determinat sa devina implicat in afaceri cu droguri in timpul perioadei sale de la facultate.[2]

Crima[modificare | modificare sursă]

Putin dupa miezul noptii de 7 octombrie, 1998, tanarul Shepard, in varsta de 21 de ani, i-a intalnit pe McKinney si Henderson intr-un bar. Acestia s-au oferit sa-l duca pe Shepard acasa in masina lor.[3] Ulterior, Shepard a fost jefuit, batut cu un pistol, torturat, legat de un gard intr-o zona rurala indepartata si lasat sa moara. McKinney și Henderson i-au aflat adresa si intentionau sa ii jefuiasca locuinta. Shepard a fost descoperit optsprezece ore mai tarziu de catre Aaron Kreifels, inca legat de gard. La momentul gasitii acestuia, Shepard era inca viu, insa in coma.

Shepard a suferit o fractura din spatele capului pana in fata urechii sale drepte. Trunchiul cerebral a fost afectat, corpul sau nefiind in stare sa mai controleze ritmul cardiac, temperatura corpului si alte semne vitale. Totodata erau si cateva laceratii in jurul capului, fetei si gatului. Ranile sale erau prea severe pentru ca doctorii sa le poata opera. Nu si-a recapatat constiita, fiind conectat la aparatele de sustinere a vietii. Pe masura ce acesta zacea in terapie intensiva, oamenii din Laramie purtau lumanari aprinse pentru a sta de veghe.[4]

Decesul lui Matthew a fost comunicat la ora 12:53 A.M. la data de 12 octombrie, 1998, la Spitalul Poudre Valley in Fort Collins.[5][6][7][8] Politia i-a arestat pe cei doi dupa putin timp, descoperind pistolul patat cu sange, pantofii si portofelul victimei in camioneta lor.[2]

Cei doi ucigasi au incercat sa obtina alibiuri cu ajutorul prietenelor lor.[9]

Procesul[modificare | modificare sursă]

In curte, acuzatii au apelat la diverse rationamente pentru a-si motiva actiunile. Acestia incercasera sa se apere in cazul unui atac de panica, datorita faptului ca cei doi au innebunit temporar datorita avansurilor sexuale ale lui Shepard. La un moment dat, au afirmat ca doreau doar sa-l jefuiasca, si nu intentionasera deloc sa-l ucida.[2]

Procurorul acestui caz i-a acuzat pe McKinney si Henderson de faptul ca acestia au pretins ca sunt homosexuali pentru a-i castiga increderea lui Shepard pentru ca acesta sa fie jefuit.[10] In timpul procesului, Chastity Pasley si Kristen Price (respectivele prietene ale lui McKinney si Henderson la acel moment) au marturisit sub juramant ca cei doi planuisera dinainte sa jefuiasca un homosexual. McKinney si Henderson au mers apoi la Fireside Lounge si l-au ales pe Matthew ca tinta. MxKinney a pretins ca Shepard i-a rugat sa-l duca cu masina acasa. Dupa ce s-au imprietenit cu el, acestia l-au dus spre o zona rurala si distanta din Laramie, unde l-au jefuit, l-au batut si l-au legat de un gard cu o funie din camioneta lui McKinney, in timp ce Shepard se ruga pentru viata lui. Rapoartele mass-media contineau de multe ori expunerea grafica a lovirii cu pistolul si craniul zdrobit. Shepard a fost batut asa de brutal, incat fata lui a fost acoperita de sange, in afara de partile curatate partial de lacrimi.[11][12] Ambele prietene au declarat ca cei doi nu erau sub influenta drogurilor la acel moment.[13][14]

Henderson pledeaza vinovat la 5 aprilie, 1999 si este de acord sa depuna marturie contra lui McKinney pentru a evita pedeapsa cu moartea; a primit doua condamnari pe viata consecutive. Juriul din cazul lui McKinney l-au gasit vinovat pentru crima. Pe masura ce deliberarea pentru pedeapsa cu moartea incepuse, parintii lui Shepard au negociat cu acestia, iar McKinney a primit doua condamnari pe viata consecutive, insa fara posibilitatea cuvantului de onoare.[15]

Henderson si McKinney au fost incarcerati in Penitenciarul de Stat Wyoming din Rawlins, insa au fost transferati spre alte inchisori datorita supraaglomerarii acesteia.[16]

Raportul 20/20 al celor de la ABC[modificare | modificare sursă]

In late 2004, ABC's Elizabeth Vargas reported on an investigation into the murder for the television program 20/20. Though Vargas primarily relied on personal interviews with people involved with the matter, the report was billed as exploring "New Details Emerging in the Matthew Shepard Murder."[2] At the forefront was the possibility that the murder had in fact been motivated by drugs rather than Shepard's sexual orientation. McKinney, Henderson and Kristen Price (McKinney's girlfriend) claimed in these interviews that the attack was a result of heavy drug use, a robbery and a beating gone awry.[2] Price, in her interview with Vargas, ultimately openly remarked: "I do not think it was a hate crime at all. I never did."[2] This statement contradicted Price's first interview with 20/20 in 1998, in which she said (of McKinney and Henderson's attack): "They just wanted to beat him bad enough to teach him a lesson, not to come on to straight people, and don’t be aggressive about it anymore.”[17] In the report, Price and McKinney's long-time friend Tom O'Connor, on whose property McKinney and Price once lived, both stated their belief that McKinney was bisexual. O'Connor stated that he and McKinney had sex in the past. However, when Vargas asked McKinney whether he had ever had a sexual experience with another male, he said that he had not.[2]

The 20/20 report also mentioned a statement by O'Connor that Shepard told him he was HIV-positive.[2]

Retired Police Chief of Laramie, Commander Dave O'Malley — who was also interviewed by ABC and criticized the 20/20 report — pointed out that the drug motive does not necessarily disqualify the anti-gay motive: "My feelings have been that the initial contact was probably motivated by robbery because they needed money. What they got was $20 and a pair of shoes ... then something changed and changed profoundly... But, we will never, ever know because Matt’s dead and I don’t trust what [McKinney and Henderson] said."[18]

Legislatia crimei din ura[modificare | modificare sursă]

Vezi și: Hate crime laws in the United States

Henderson and McKinney were not charged with a hate crime, as no Wyoming criminal statute provided for such a charge. The nature of Matthew Shepard's murder led to requests for new legislation addressing hate crime, urged particularly by those who believed that Shepard was targeted on the basis of his sexual orientation.[19][20] Under current United States federal law[21] and Wyoming state law,[22] crimes committed on the basis of sexual orientation are not prosecutable as hate crimes.

In the following session of the Wyoming Legislature, a bill was introduced defining certain attacks motivated by victim identity as hate crimes, but the measure failed on a 30-30 tie in the Wyoming House of Representatives.[23]

At the federal level, then-President Bill Clinton renewed attempts to extend federal hate crime legislation to include gay and lesbian individuals, women, and people with disabilities. These efforts were rejected by the United States House of Representatives in 1999.[24] In 2000, both houses of Congress passed such legislation, but it was stripped out in conference committee.[25]

On March 20, 2007, the Matthew Shepard Act (Format:USBill) was introduced as federal bipartisan legislation in the U.S. Congress, sponsored by Democrat John Conyers with 171 co-sponsors. Matthew's parents, Judy and Dennis, were present at the introduction ceremony. The bill passed the House of Representatives on May 3, 2007. Similar legislation passed in the Senate on September 27, 2007[26] (Format:USBill), but then-President Bush indicated he might veto the legislation if it reached his desk.[27] He did veto the bill in 2007.

On December 10, 2007, congressional powers attached bipartisan hate crimes legislation to a Department of Defense Authorization bill, though failed to get it passed. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, said she "is still committed to getting the Matthew Shepard Act passed." Pelosi planned to get the bill passed early in 2008[28] though did not succeed in that plan. Following his election as 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama stated that he is committed to passing the Act.[29]

The U.S. House of Representatives debated expansion of hate crimes legislation on April 29, 2009. During the debate, Representative Virginia Foxx of North Carolina called the "hate crime" labeling of Matthew Shepard's murder a "hoax." Matthew Shepard's mother was said to be in the House gallery when the congresswoman made this comment.[30] Foxx later called her comments "a poor choice of words". [31] The House passed the act, designated Format:USBill, by a vote of 249 to 175.[32] The bill was introduced in the Senate on April 28 by Ted Kennedy, Patrick Leahy, and a bipartisan coalition;[33] it had 43 cosponsors as of June 17, 2009, and is currently on the route to being voted upon.[necesită citare] The Matthew Shepard Act was adopted as an amendment to S.1390 by a vote of 63-28 on July 15, 2009.[34]

Reactia publicului[modificare | modificare sursă]

Vezi și: Cultural depictions of Matthew Shepard

The anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kansas, led by Fred Phelps, picketed Shepard's funeral as well as the trial of his assailants,[35][36] displaying signs with slogans such as "Matt Shepard rots in Hell", "AIDS Kills Fags Dead" and "God Hates Fags".[37] When the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled that it was legal to display any sort of religious message on city property if it was legal for Casper's Ten Commandments display to remain, Phelps attempted and failed to gain city permits in Cheyenne and Casper to build a monument "of marble or granite 5 or 6 feet (1,8288 m) in height on which will be a bronze plaque bearing Shepard's picture and the words: "MATTHEW SHEPARD, Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God's Warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22."[38][39][40][41]

As a counterprotest during Henderson's trial, Romaine Patterson, a friend of Shepard's, organized a group of individuals who assembled in a circle around the Phelps group wearing white robes and gigantic wings (resembling angels) that blocked the protesters. Police had to create a human barrier between the two protest groups.[42] While the organization had no name in the initial demonstration, it has since been ascribed various titles, including 'Angels of Peace' and 'Angel Action'.[35][36] The fence to which Shepard was tied and left to die became an impromptu shrine for visitors, who left notes, flowers, and other mementos. It has since been removed by the land owner.

Many musicians have written and recorded songs about the murder. Three narrative films and a documentary were made about Shepard: The Laramie Project, The Matthew Shepard Story, Anatomy of a Hate Crime and Laramie Inside Out. The Laramie Project is also often performed as a play. The play involves recounts of interviews with citizens of the town of Laramie ranging from a few months after the attack to a few years after. The play is designed to display the town's reaction to the crime.[43][44]

In the years following Shepard's death, his mother Judy has become a well-known advocate for LGBT rights, particularly issues relating to gay youth. She is a prime force behind the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which supports diversity and tolerance in youth organizations.

Bibliografie[modificare | modificare sursă]

  • Shepard, Judy; (2009). The Meaning of Matthew: My Son's Murder in Laramie, and a World Transformed. New York, NY: Penguin Group USA. ISBN 978-1-59463-057-6 
  • Campbell, Shannon; Laura Castaneda (2005). News and Sexuality: Media Portraits of Diversity. Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage Publications, Inc. ISBN 1-4129-0998-8 
  • Fondakowski, Leigh; Kaufman, Moises (2001). The Laramie project. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-375-72719-1 
  • Garceau, Dee; Basso, Matthew; McCall, Laura (2001). Across the Great Divide: cultures of manhood in the American West. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-92471-5 
  • Hinds, Patrick; Romaine Patterson (2005). The Whole World Was Watching: Living in the Light of Matthew Shepard. Advocate Books. ISBN 1-55583-901-0 
  • Loffreda, Beth (2000). Losing Matt Shepard: life and politics in the aftermath of anti-gay murder. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11859-7 
  • Swigonski, Mary E.; Mama, Robin S.; Ward, Kelly (2001). From Hate Crimes to Human Rights: A Tribute to Matthew Shepard. New York: Routledge. ISBN 1-56023-256-0 

Vezi și[modificare | modificare sursă]

Referințe[modificare | modificare sursă]

  1. ^ Eroare la citare: Etichetă <ref> invalidă; niciun text nu a fost furnizat pentru ref-urile numite life
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h New Details Emerge in Matthew Shepard Murder”. ABC News Internet Ventures. 26 noiembrie 2004. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Story?id=277685&page=1. Accesat la 7 iunie 2009. 
  3. ^ Killer: Shepard Didn't Make Advances”. Salon.com. http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/1999/11/06/witness/index.html. Accesat la 7 decembrie 2007. 
  4. ^ University of Wyoming Matthew Shepard Resource Site”. University of Wyoming. http://www.uwyo.edu/News/shepard/. Accesat la 1 noiembrie 2006. 
  5. ^ Murder charges planned in beating death of gay student”. CNN. 12 octombrie 1998. http://www.cnn.com/US/9810/12/wyoming.attack.03/index.html. Accesat la 1 noiembrie 2006. 
  6. ^ Lacayo, Richard (26 octombrie 1998). „The New Gay Struggle”. Time Magazine. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,989406,00.html. Accesat la 1 noiembrie 2006. 
  7. ^ Beaten gay student dies; murder charges planned”. CNN. 12 octombrie 1998. http://www.cnn.com/US/9810/12/wyoming.attack.02/index.html. Accesat la 14 ianuarie 2007. 
  8. ^ Matthew Shepard Medical Update” (PDF). PVHS. 12 octombrie 1998. https://vic.pvhs.org/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/PVHS/PVHS_DOCUMENT_MGMT2/NEWS_REPOSITORY/MATTHEW%20SHEPARD%20MEDICAL%20UPDATE.PDF. Accesat la 14 ianuarie 2007. 
  9. ^ New details emerge about suspects in gay attack”. CNN.com. Cable News Network. 13 octombrie 1998. http://www.cnn.com/US/9810/13/wyoming.attack.02/index.html. Accesat la 21 ianuarie 2007. 
  10. ^ Tuma, Clara, and The Associated Press (April 5, 1999). „Henderson pleads guilty to felony murder in Matthew Shepard case”. Court TV. http://www.courttv.com/archive/trials/henderson/040599_pm_ctv.html. Accesat la 6 aprilie 2006. 
  11. ^ Loffreda, Beth (2000). Losing Matt Shepard: life and politics in the aftermath of anti-gay murder. New York: Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-11858-9. http://www.nytimes.com/books/first/l/loffreda-shepard.html 
  12. ^ Chiasson, Lloyd (30 noiembrie 2003). Illusive Shadows: Justice, Media, and Socially Significant American Trials. Praeger. pp. 183. ISBN 978-0275975074 
  13. ^ The Daily Camera:Matthew Shepard Murder. http://homes.thedailycamera.com/extra/shepard/. Accesat la 6 aprilie 2006. 
  14. ^ Black, Robert W. (29 octombrie 1999). „Girlfriend: McKinney told of killing”. The Daily Camera. http://homes.thedailycamera.com/extra/shepard/29bshep.html. 
  15. ^ Eroare la citare: Etichetă <ref> invalidă; niciun text nu a fost furnizat pentru ref-urile numite cart
  16. ^ Torkelson, Jean (3 octombrie 2008). „Mother's mission: Matthew Shepard's death changes things”. Rocky Mountain News (The E.W. Scripps Co.). http://m.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/oct/03/10-years-later-matthew-shepard-hasnt-been-forgotte/. Accesat la 16 noiembrie 2008. 
  17. ^ Rewriting the Motives Behind Matthew Shepard’s Murder”. [1]. 8 decembrie 2004. http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/recount/article/95/. Accesat la 6 mai 2007. 
  18. ^ Former police chief angry about 20/20”. 26 noiembrie 2004. http://www.laramieboomerang.com/news/more.asp?StoryID=102392. Accesat la 15 mai 2007. 
  19. ^ Colby College (7 martie 2006). „Mother of Hate-Crime Victim to Speak at Colby. http://www.colby.edu/news/detail/612/. Accesat la 6 aprilie 2006.  Press release.
  20. ^ Open phones”. Talk of the Nation (National Public Radio). 12 octombrie 1998. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1009867. Accesat la 6 aprilie 2006.  "Denounced nationwide as a hate crime" at 1:40 elapsed time.
  21. ^ Investigative Programs: Civil Rights: Hate Crimes”. Federal Bureau of Investigation. http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/civilrights/hate.htm. Accesat la 6 aprilie 2006. 
  22. ^ Map of State Statutes”. Anti-Defamation League. http://www.adl.org/99hatecrime/provisions.asp. Accesat la 6 aprilie 2006. 
  23. ^ Blanchard, Robert O. (1 mai 1999). „The "Hate State" Myth”. Reason. http://reason.com/9905/fe.rb.the.shtml. Accesat la 6 aprilie 2006. 
  24. ^ Barrett, Ted, and The Associated Press (13 septembrie 2000). „President Clinton urges Congress to pass hate crimes bill: GOP aides predict legislation will pass House, but will not become law”. CNN. http://transcripts.cnn.com/2000/ALLPOLITICS/stories/09/13/hate.crimes/index.html. Accesat la 7 aprilie 2006. 
  25. ^ Office of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (7 octombrie 2004). „House Democrats Condemn GOP Rejection of Hate Crimes Legislation. http://democraticleader.house.gov/press/releases.cfm?pressReleaseID=718. Accesat la 7 aprilie 2006.  Press release.
  26. ^ Simon, R. Bush threatens to veto expansion of hate-crime law, Los Angeles Times, 2007-05-03. Retrieved on 2007-05-03.
  27. ^ Stout, D. House Votes to Expand Hate Crime Protection, New York Times, 2007-05-03. Retrieved 2007-05-03.
  28. ^ Caving in on Hate Crimes, New York Times, 2007-12-10. Retrieved 2007-12-11.
  29. ^ Lynsen, Joshua (13 iunie 2008). „Obama renews commitment to gay issues”. Washington Blade (Window Media LLC Productions). http://www.washblade.com/2008/6-13/news/national/12766.cfm. Accesat la 16 noiembrie 2008. 
  30. ^ Grim, Ryan (29 aprilie 2009). „Virginia Foxx: Story of Matthew Shepard's Murder A "Hoax"”. Huffington Post. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/04/29/virginia-foxx-story-of-ma_n_192971.html. Accesat la 29 aprilie 2009. 
  31. ^ Congresswoman calls gay death case a `hoax'. http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=6788587. Accesat la 29 aprilie 2009. 
  32. ^ Stout, David (29 aprilie 2009). „House Passes Hate-Crimes Bill”. New York Times. http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/29/house-passes-hate-crimes-bill/. Accesat la 30 aprilie 2009. 
  33. ^ Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act Introduced in Senate
  34. ^ U.S. Senate: Legislation & Records Home > Votes > Roll Call Vote:. http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=1&vote=00233/. Accesat la 17 iulie 2009. 
  35. ^ a b Suspect pleads guilty in beating death of gay college student”. CNN. 1999-04-05. http://www.cnn.com/US/9904/05/gay.attack.trail.02/. Accesat la 18 ianuarie 2007. 
  36. ^ a b The Whole World Was Watching. http://www.paraview.com/patterson/index.htm. Accesat la 18 ianuarie 2007. 
  37. ^ Matthew Shepard Online Resources - Hate Speech - Rev. Fred Phelps. http://www.hatecrime.org/subpages/hatespeech/phelps.html. Accesat la 18 ianuarie 2007. [nefuncțională]
  38. ^ Sink, Mindy (2003-10-30). „Wyoming: Council Votes To Move Ten Commandments From Park”. The New York Times. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9905E6DB1430F933A05753C1A9659C8B63. Accesat la 6 aprilie 2006. 
  39. ^ Kelly, David (12 octombrie 2003). „The Nation; Intolerance Chiseled in Stone Hits City Hard; Casper, Wyo., faces the prospect of having to allow a monument that condemns gay murder victim Matthew Shepard”. Los Angeles Times: p. A20. 
  40. ^ Monument dedicated to Matthew Shepard's Entry Into Hell, which WBC intends to erect in Casper City Park as a solemn Memorial that God Hates Fags & Fag-Enablers”. Westboro Baptist Church. http://www.godhatesfags.com/main/shepard_monument.html. Accesat la 6 aprilie 2006.  Page includes picture of proposed monument.
  41. ^ Burke, Brendan (3 octombrie 2003). „Phelps seeks anti-gay marker”. Casper Star-Tribune. http://www.casperstartribune.net/articles/2003/10/03/news/casper/f060e8d5f0ddf401c07f72e2617c79c6.txt. Accesat la 6 aprilie 2006. 
  42. ^ Suspect pleads guilty in beating death of gay college student”. CNN.com (Cable News Network). 5 aprilie 1999. http://www.cnn.com/US/9904/05/gay.attack.trail.02/. Accesat la 21 ianuarie 2007. 
  43. ^ Hart, Dave (12 noiembrie 2008). „'The Laramie Project'”. The Chapel Hill News. The News & Observer Publishing Company. http://www.chapelhillnews.com/news/story/25210.html. Accesat la 20 februarie 2009. 
  44. ^ Hugenberg, Jenny (14 februarie 2008). „Gay-themed high school play draws protest, support”. Kalamazoo Gazette. http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/02/kalamazoo_a_group_has.html. Accesat la 20 februarie 2009. 

Legături externe[modificare | modificare sursă]