Asian hate crimes are not applicable.Possibility of death penalty in court
The Atlanta, Georgia shooter who killed eight people, including four Koreans, was sentenced to life in prison without parole at a court in Cherokee County, Georgia on the 27th (local time). He has been charged with a separate case in another court for the murder of four Koreans, so there is a possibility that he could be sentenced to death.
The perpetrator, Robert Aaron Long, shot and killed eight people in March at two Fulton County spas in Atlanta, Georgia and a massage parlor in Cherokee County. The ruling is on charges of shooting and killing four people, two Asian women and a white man and woman, in Cherokee County.
According to the Associated Press and other local media in the United States, a Cherokee County court upheld the sentence of an additional 35 years for Long, along with a life sentence with no possibility of parole. This is in line with negotiations with prosecutors to lower the sentence instead of pleading guilty. “The plea of guilt is Long’s will to take responsibility for this case,” Long’s attorney said.
The Cherokee County Attorney’s Office said in court that “Long chose the victims because of their race, nationality and gender.” However, the prosecution did not directly apply the hate crime charges against Long, despite the public opinion that it is a hate crime against Asian women.
During the interrogation process, Long denied allegations of hate crimes, arguing mainly about sexual addiction. It is known that he did not say a word of apology or reflection on the victim during the trial.
Atlanta Asian immigrants and human rights groups reacted to the ruling as incomprehensible. In an interview with local media, Stephanie Joe, director of the Atlanta branch of the Asian American Justice Promotion Center, said, “I doubt whether this trial has achieved justice.” I didn’t,” he pointed out.
Allison Padilla-Goodman, vice president of the southern branch of the non-profit organization Anti-Defamation Solidarity, pointed out, “The fact that the shooting was a sexual objectification of an Asian woman is itself applicable to hate crime charges.”
The Cherokee County Attorney’s Office said it was inevitable for a speedy trial.
At a press conference after the trial, New Year’s Attorney General Wallace said, “If you ask for the death penalty, the formal trial process will take longer. The bereaved family wanted the case to be closed through an expedited trial,” he said. “After a long period of joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, we have come to the conclusion that Long’s crimes did not target Asians,” Wallace said.
Long will face a separate trial in August for the murder of four Korean women in a Fulton County Courthouse. Fulton County Attorney Fanny Willis has announced that Long will be charged with hate crimes and seek the death penalty.