Name: Matthew Shepard
Birth Date: 1977
Death Date: October 7, 1998
Place of Death: Laramie, Wyoming, United States
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On October 7, 1998 was a university of 21, of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, the Fireside Lounge in Laramie, Wyoming. The Shepard was gay, met Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney, both in their twenties who Shepard is supposed to be gay. Later that evening, Shepard left the Fireside Lounge in Henderson and McKinney in a van belonging to McKinney.
Henderson and McKinney kidnapped Shepard, who weighed only 105 pounds, and drove him to a remote area outside of Laramie, Wyoming. Two men severely beat Shepard, the pistol shouting anti-gay epithets at him. They robbed Shepard, twenty dollars, tied him to the fence, and left him to die in the cold. Shepard was still alive, but he was unconscious when found. Never regaining consciousness, Shepard died five days later in Fort Collins, Colorado hospital for his parents at his side.
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Henderson was arrested on charges he pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murder. 5. April 1999, a judge sentenced to two consecutive life sentences for murdering Shepard Henderson jail. The prosecutor agreed to refrain from the death penalty, Henderson, because he agreed to testify against McKinney in his court. In addition, partner Henderson, Chasity Pasley 21 years, was sentenced to an accessory after the fact, because it helped Henderson trying to cover up the crime and lied to police when he was questioned. The judge gave Palsey eighteen months in prison for his convictions.
McKinney, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges against him and proceeded to trial. After the trial, the jury found McKinney guilty of a felony murder, kidnapping and aggravated robbery. The prosecution intends to seek the death penalty for the mother until Shepard McKinney intervened on his behalf. In an extraordinary gesture of mercy, Judy Shepard and his family "chose not to feel the thrill of mutual hatred" against the murderers of his son. Affirming that "the cure must begin," went to the Shepard family and the prosecution asked the possibility of an agreement that would avoid the death penalty for McKinney. This plea bargain was in fact achieved. As part of the plea agreement, the prosecutor agreed to drop murder crime count, and instead, McKinney agreed to serve two life sentences without possibility of parole. McKinney also agreed to waive their right of appeal against the sentence.
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Shepard case prompted President Bill Clinton asked Congress to expand laws against hate crimes at the federal level. President Clinton urged Congress to act quickly to create new legislation applies to hate crimes based on sexual orientation, because, as he put it, "the nation can not afford to wait."