Monday, June 21, 2010

Neil Simpson - Serial Liar

Turnabout is fair play. Trying not to do the whole "I know you are but what am I?" stuff, but in this case, feel compelled.

In this post, he manages a double whammy. First, he lies about the Matthew Shepard murder, offering the now-thoroughly debunked claim that it was not a hate crime. From the Wikipedia article on the case:
During the trial, Chastity Pasley and Kristen Price, girlfriends of McKinney and Henderson, testified that Henderson and McKinney both plotted beforehand to rob a gay man. McKinney and Henderson then went to the Fireside Lounge and selected Shepard as their target. McKinney alleged that Shepard asked them for a ride home. After befriending him, they took him to a remote area outside of Laramie where they robbed him, assaulted him severely, and tied him to a fence with a rope from McKinney's truck while Shepard pleaded for his life. Media reports often contained the graphic account of the pistol whipping and his fractured skull. It was reported that Shepard was beaten so brutally that his face was completely covered in blood, except where it had been partially washed clean by his tears.[13][14] Both girlfriends also testified that neither McKinney nor Henderson were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time.[15][16]

Henderson pleaded guilty on April 5, 1999, and agreed to testify against McKinney to avoid the death penalty; he received two consecutive life sentences. The jury in McKinney's trial found him guilty of felony murder. As they began to deliberate on the death penalty, Shepard's parents brokered a deal, resulting in McKinney receiving two consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole.


When ABC 20/20 ran a story in 2004 suggesting that Matthew was HIV positive and quoting claims by McKinney, Henderson and Kristen Price and the prosecutor in the case that the murder had not been motivated by Shepard's sexuality, but rather was a robbery gone violent amongst drug users (the suggestion being that Sheppard was a heavy meth user), [3] it received considerable attention and criticism. Retired Laramie Police Chief Dave O'Malley stated that the murderers' claims were not credible, but the prosecutor in the case stated that there was ample evidence that drugs were at least a factor in the murder.[47] Other coverage focused on how these more recent statements contradicted those made at and near the trial.

In other words, the claim that this was a drug-deal-gone-bad simply contradicts the trial testimony. Period. Any other claims are false. Repeating them as if they were true, after they have been discredited, is lying.

He further lies when he insists that the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act punishes thought (and, by extension, speech, one supposes). It punishes acts of violence. To be honest, I'm not sure how this zombie lie continues to march along, its head having long before been destroyed. Suppose I decide to beat up and rob a black man in order to steal his money. That is not a hate crime. If, however, testimony is offered at trial that I had repeatedly made clear my intention to beat up a black man because he is black, and robbed him because it was convenient, that is a hate crime.

Suppose I am walking down the street with a male friend, a vehicle pulls in front of me, three people get out, and beat us up, shouting anti-gay slurs and epithets as they do so. That, too, is a hate crime, even though I and my friend are not gay.

To repeatedly insist that Hate Crimes Laws attack thought and speech, when they actually address violent acts, even when the clarity of the law is not in question, is, quite simply, to lie.

Virtual Tin Cup

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