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2 men convicted of a federal hate crime for beating and kicking a man to death get 9 years, enough time?

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. - Two Pennsylvania men who were convicted of a federal hate crime for beating and kicking an illegal Mexican immigrant who died of his injuries were sentenced Wednesday to nine years in prison.

Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky were among 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.

Justice Department prosecutor Myesha Braden said in court Wednesday that while Piekarsky, now 19, and Donchak, now 21, did not intend to kill Ramirez, they decided his ethnicity made him "somehow worthy of being beaten like a dog in the streets."

Defense attorneys said they will appeal the verdicts and sentences.

The pair were convicted in October. They could have received more than 12 years to more than 15 years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, but U.S. District Judge Richard Caputo granted them a reduction because of their personal character and conduct before Ramirez's beating, as well as the numerous letters and testimonials he received.

He also noted Ramirez's death and the crimes of Piekarsky and Donchak.

"The jury found that Mr. Ramirez died as a result of his ethnicity or race. This is serious business in America," said Caputo, adding: "There are no winners here, only losers."

Piekarsky, in a statement to the court, expressed remorse for what happened and offered his condolences to Ramirez's family but said "it was not racial. I am not a racist."

Donchak chose not to make a statement to the court.

Witnesses at their trial gave conflicting accounts of the late-night brawl that pitted Ramirez - a short, stout man nicknamed "Caballo," Spanish for horse - against drunken teenagers during a random encounter on the street.

 
sweet-a-kins

Asked by sweet-a-kins at 11:22 AM on Feb. 24, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 34 (67,502 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (174)
  • I have to say that some of the crap I have read here is honestly disgusting, immoral, and revolting. I am shocked, really, at the attitude and HYPOCRISY, that I have seen here. You who are "judging" a so-called "illegal" immigrant, no problem there at all. But "judging" some good ol boys who KILLED someone is not acceptable? I don't know what to say. Morally bankrupt. Twisted and sick. Brainwashed. You don't even know what a human being is, any more, much less a criminal.
    stacymomof2

    Answer by stacymomof2 at 9:32 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • oh, for fuck's sake. the "personal character" of two little shits who kicked and beat a man to death? yeah, that's exemplary.
    autodidact

    Answer by autodidact at 12:47 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • It seems like the sentence is a little light, however the judge considered the rest of their lives, not this one act.

    This ONE ACT was MURDER. MURDER. They killed this man for no reason. Are you saying that as long as it's only been "one act" if someone commits murder they shouldn't have to serve a long sentence?
    TARARENEE

    Answer by TARARENEE at 11:56 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • Yes, hate crimes. And there are many people who don't even think they should have been charged at all. We have a spot on our 5:30pm news called "Talkback 16" and there were so many people who called in and said, "He was an illegal alien", "The boys made a mistake". Ridiculous. They MURDERED someone. And then a few cops tried to hide evidence.
    TARARENEE

    Answer by TARARENEE at 11:48 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • It's not a question of whether or not they are AS human as citizens, but whether they are AMERICAN citizens!! The "undocumented" are ILLEGAL...they are ALREADY criminals!! I don't think very highly of CRIMINALS...but whatever floats your boat!! LOL :o)


     


    Whether or not the victim was illegal is irrelevant. Fact is, these boys murdered another human being, and they deserve to be punished accordingly.....which they're not.

    DusterMommy

    Answer by DusterMommy at 8:36 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • This is happening in my area. They keep harping on how the man who was beaten to death was an illegal immigrant. Does that mean those boys had the right to beat him to death?? There is NO WAY 9 years is enough.
    TARARENEE

    Answer by TARARENEE at 11:40 AM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • As far as I'm concerned, their conduct BEFORE doesn't matter. Just the fact that they could do something like this shows that they have more problems than anyone realizes. But hey, I'm not a judge, so just my opinion.
    TARARENEE

    Answer by TARARENEE at 12:02 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • Meh..imo, murder is murder regardless of motive or method. The end for the victim is always the same...they are dead. I believe the whole hate crime thing to be a waste of time and resources. If it were up to me most murderers would receive the death penalty.
    yourspecialkid

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 12:18 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • lol..im not the stalker..I dont provide links to your page or read your answers section daily....thats your girly friends

    You must be stalking me then, if that is the qualifier.
    Carpy

    Answer by Carpy at 12:35 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

  • Fine jewjewbee. Sit on your high horse and talk down to the rest of us.

    No Sweet, I don't think the two monsters who beat Luis Ramirez to death got enough time.
    TARARENEE

    Answer by TARARENEE at 1:54 PM on Feb. 24, 2011

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