Monday, January 12, 2009

Help Bring Justice to Sean Kennedy!

On May 16, 2007, Sean Kennedy, a 20-year old gay man, was attacked on the streets of Greenville, South Carolina. He died of his injuries later that night. Yet, because of the lack of hate crimes legislation, his attacker may be eligible for parole in February!

Sean was a brave young man with a bright, infectious smile. But his life was cut short and justice left unserved. Now, PFLAG is joining with Sean’s mother, Elke Kennedy, and asking all of our members to write to the parole board and urge them to rule that Moller must serve his complete sentence for this heinous, anti-gay crime.

Because South Carolina – and many other states- lack protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people, Moller was able to plea-bargain to involuntary manslaughter charges (considered a “non-violent crime”) and received a suspended five to three years sentence for his crime. Because of the credit he received for time served before sentencing, his full sentence means that he will be free in September 2009. And he is also eligible for parole in February, which means that he will have served only 8 months of his full sentence for Sean’s death.

The parole board is currently conducting a review on whether to grant Moller parole. It is critically important that they hear from our community, and that we each send a strong message that it is unacceptable to grant such early parole following a brutal anti-gay murder!

Please join us in writing a letter to the parole board, and ask them to deny Stephen Moller’s parole. If you have the time, please write a personal letter by hand or by computer, as those will be the most effective, and if you knew Sean or his family personally, please include that information.

Also, please let Elke Kennedy, Sean’s mother, know if you send a letter. Elke has asked that you also send her a copy of the letter, so she can have copies to take with her to the parole hearing. This will help her in building her case – and send a clear message that PFLAG families won’t tolerate anti-gay violence.

Be sure to include Moller's full name and ID number: Stephen Andrew Moller - SCDC ID # 00328891.

Send your letters to:
Department of Probation Pardon and Parole Services
2221 Devine Street, Suite 600,
PO Box 50666
Columbia, SC 29250

Also, please be sure to send a copy to Elke Kennedy, Sean’s mother. You can send materials to her at:
Elke@seanslastwish.org

Or via mail: Elke Kennedy
PO Box 5697
Greenville, SC 29606

Be sure to read about PFLAG’s policy position in advocating for federal hate crimes legislation, too – to ensure that all people in all states have protections, and that future anti-gay violence will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law!

No comments: