NEW YORK - The following is a statement from GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard about the mistrial declared today in the trial against Brandon McInerney, who was 14 when he murdered 15-year-old Lawrence "Larry" King at E.O. Green Junior High School in Oxnard, Calif., on Feb. 12, 2008.
The jury could not reach an agreement on whether to find McInerney guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter. The prosecution and defense could reach a plea deal, or the prosecution could pursue a new trial.
"The mistrial declared today is hardly a surprise. This was always destined to be a case with little resolution and no winners, whatever the verdict. The central facts remain the same: homophobia killed Larry King and destroyed Brandon McInerney's life, and adults failed both young men because of their own inability to deal forthrightly and compassionately with the multiple challenges they each faced. The jury's indecision is a sad reflection of our collective inability to find common ground and invest in a better future for all youth and a culture of respect for all."
GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national
education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students. Established
in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and
accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive
contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For
information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy,
student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.