|RIP Zong Vang|
...The story? When [Omer Ninham] was 14, Ninham and four buddies approached Zong Vang, who was 13. Vang was riding his bicycle and had picked up tomatoes from the grocery store for his family. Ninham and his friend teased Vang, punched him, and then chased him to the top of a parking structure. Ninham and one of the friends grabbed Vang by the wrists and ankles as he cried and screamed, and then they threw him off the top floor. Vang fell five stories to his death.
Ninham’s lawyer made the argument that crimes committed by kids are different. But honestly, 14 years old is an eighth grader–not exactly a baby. It’s true that kids have different mentalities than adults, but I knew that it was wrong to murder people when I was 14. Especially when this kid had a gang of four other kids who ruthlessly chased down a lone, unarmed boy and threw him off the top of a parking structure; what a terrible death to inflict on another person. I can’t see how that action doesn’t deserve the highest punishment possible. Considering his crime, I find it hard to think of a life sentence as “cruel and unusual,” especially if Wisconsin’s jails are de-facto country clubs like the jails in Oregon.
From Jon Srubas:
...Omer Ninham, now 27, was convicted in March 2000 in Brown County Circuit Court of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of 13-year-old Zong Vang.Uh-huh, uh-huh...if Omer Ninham was unmistakably POC, would he have lawyers - plural, mind you - trying get him an appeal, and would it be news?
...Ninham and the other teen were sentenced to life in prison, although the other boy, Richard Crapeau, 13 at the time, was given a chance for parole after 50 years.
Ninham sought a modified sentence to give him a chance for parole. Brown County Circuit Judge J.D. McKay denied that request, and the court of appeals in March 2009 affirmed McKay's decision.
Ninham's lawyers from the Equal Justice Initiative of Montgomery, Ala., argued to the Supreme Court that life without parole violates Ninham's constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment, because of his extreme youth at the time of the crime.
They argued the sentence was unduly harsh and that new scientific research into adolescent brain development constituted a new factor justifying reconsideration of the case.
They also argued the sentencing judge improperly considered the religious beliefs of the Vang family in imposing the life sentence. McKay, at the sentencing hearing, made brief reference to a statement that had been made by a Vang family member concerning the family's religious belief that a murdered person's spirit can't be set free until the murderer is brought to justice.
The Supreme Court rejected all four of Ninham's lawyers' arguments. It concluded Ninham's punishment was severe, but not disproportionately so.
I'm not even going to touch the "brain research." Already it sounds like some shit Dr. Housebroken concocted in his not-science lab.
I mean, how old do you have to be to know that throwing a fellow human being off a building = serious consequences? You're telling me a 14-year-old doesn't know murder is wrong and severely punishable by law? Are we...are we serious?
Omer needs to sit his bitch ass down and shut the fuck up already. There's not enough "I'm sorry" and half-assed community service in the world to make up for robbing a family of their child. Every good parent's worst nightmare is to outlive their own damn children. WTF is this shit? Getting to live after committing murder is "cruel and unusual", not because of the guilt, but because you're gettin' fed and housed and not payin' any bills? Are we serious?