February 23rd, 2011
Hate Crime Killers Get 9 Years In Pennsylvania

Two Pennsylvania men convicted of the hate crime killing of immigrant Luis Ramirez were sentenced to 9 years in prison each today. Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky were convicted on federal charges of a hate crime and depriving Ramirez — who they called racist names as they beat him to his death — of his civil rights.

The Associated Press reported:

a group of white high school football players in the small town of Shenandoah who attacked 25-year-old Luis Ramirez in 2008. Prosecutors alleged they beat and kicked Ramirez because they didn’t like Hispanics and wanted them out of their town.

The jury found that the reason Ramirez died was because he was Latino, because of his race. Also, there were two local police officers who were convicted of trying to cover up the crime after it happened.

This incident holds many lessons, but one that is especially salient in light of the shooting of U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords: Hate speech uncheck can lead to violence. Do you think these young men ever heard any nasty rhetoric about immigrants in their community before they attacked this young man (who had several U.S. citizen children)?

Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD

[Image By blakeemrys]

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