The Oxnard teen who shot a gay classmate he believed was flirting with him has agreed to spend the next 21 years in prison, a plea deal that ends a case that drew national attention and ignited debate on how schools should deal with openly gay students.
Brandon McInerney, who was 14 when he pulled a gun out of his backpack and shot Larry King twice in the head in 2008, has already served nearly four years in jail and would be released by the time he is 38, under terms of the deal.
Brandon McInerney’s crime was unforgivable. But I just don’t believe that two decades in prison for a crime committed when he was fourteen makes sense. It doesn’t bring Larry King back; it doesn’t act as a deterrent for the next 14 year old who might commit murder; it doesn’t bring justice. It doesn’t do anything but compound the tragedy.
If we want a just society, we can’t hold children as accountable as adults.