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Matthew Shepard Act gets it’s first indictments (and it only took three years)

Matthew Shepard Act gets it’s first indictments (and it only took three years)

I’ve always been a big supporter of the Matthew Shepard Act, but it’s utterly baffling to me that it’s taken this long to see the first people indicted under it:


In the first set of indictments that follows from a federal hate crime law which protects against attacks motivated by sexual orientation, two women from Kentucky have pleaded guilty to helping in the kidnap and assault of a gay man.
According to the Associated Press, the US Attorney Office in Lexington has released a statement that Mable Ashley Jenkins and Alexis LeAnn Jenkins, cousins both 19 years of age, have pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the kidnapping of and hate-motivated assault on a man last April, at a mountaintop Appalachian park in southeast of Kentucky. They will be sentenced in August.
However, two others involved in the same case, David Jason Jenkins (37) and Anthony Ray Jenkins (20), have pleaded not guilty to the charges, and their trial is set for June 18.
The cases described here mark the first use of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crime Prevention Act of 2009. Mr Shepherd was a gay teenager who, in the town of Laramie in Wyoming, died after being tied to a fence and savagely beaten. The incident took place in 1998, the same year that Mr Byrd, an African-American, was killed in Texas by white supremacists.

How is it even possible that with all the LGBT violence perpetrated on a regular basis that it’s taken this long to find a case that fit the criteria? I have no clue. Worse still, it’s something that we have had absolutely no priority in talking about either.

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