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Old 09-05-2004, 12:11 AM
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Default Gay Teen Gets 17 Year Sentence

While researching sodomy laws for my post in livius' On Chicken Fucking thread, I stumbled across this disturbing article about a teenager getting a massive prison sentence for performing oral sex on a younger teen.

Quote:
In February of 2000, Limon and another male teenager were both students at the same residential school for developmentally disabled youth in Miami County, Kansas. A week after Limon’s 18th birthday, he performed consensual oral sex on the other teenager, who was nearly 15 years old - three years, one month and a few days younger. Because Kansas’s so-called "Romeo and Juliet" law gives much lighter sentences to heterosexual teenagers who have sex with younger teens but specifically excludes gay teenagers, Limon was sentenced to 17 years in prison. A heterosexual teenager with the same record would serve no longer than 15 months for the same offense.
Apparently one of the Court's arguments for the harsher sentence was that young teens are impressionable and therefore might be "turned gay" by such an incident.
Quote:
In one brief, the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and its Kansas chapter debunked the state’s claims that the length of Limon’s sentence is justified because young people who engage in same-sex intimacy are so impressionable that they may be swayed into becoming gay. The NASW pointed to social science evidence that same-sex attractions surface much earlier in life - well before puberty - and that one gay sexual experience can’t make someone "turn" gay.
I just can't believe any sane person would think it makes sense to send an 18 yr. old kid to prison for a day - much less 17 years - for such a thing. :(
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Old 09-05-2004, 12:23 AM
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Default Re: Gay Teen Gets 17 Year Sentence

Well unless there are minimum sentencing laws in place that judge must be some kind of batshit insane right-wing religious fanatic. The law sucks, too. It's barbaric.
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Old 09-05-2004, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: Gay Teen Gets 17 Year Sentence

Quote:
Originally Posted by Farren
Well unless there are minimum sentencing laws in place that judge must be some kind of batshit insane right-wing religious fanatic. The law sucks, too. It's barbaric.
I don't really understand the legal mumbo-jumbo, but if I'm reading stuff right apparently the ACLU took the case to the Kansas Supreme Court and they kicked it back down to the Appellate court, where the conviction was upheld. Here's a little detail about the sentence itself:
Quote:
He was sentenced to 206 months, the lowest presumptive prison sentence on the sentencing grid for that level, with a 60-month period of postrelease supervision based upon a finding that the crime was sexually motivated.
Apparently that means 5 years of probation and being a registered sex offender for life when he gets out of prison at 35.

Oh, and there's this:
Quote:
Limon has been diagnosed in the intellectual range between "borderline intellectual functioning" and "mild mental retardation." This means he does not function at the level of a normal 18 year old.
:(
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Old 09-05-2004, 02:37 AM
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Default Re: Gay Teen Gets 17 Year Sentence

Quote:
Lawrence & Garner v. State of Texas
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that sodomy laws are unconstitutional on June 26, 2003.
http://www.sodomylaws.org/lawrence/lawrence.htm

As of June 24, 2004:

Quote:
The American Civil Liberties Union Thursday filed a brief supporting a Kansas gay teen sentenced to 17 years in prison for having sex with another teenager.

Matthew Limon is appealing a 206-month prison sentence he received shortly after turning 18 because while he was a resident at a private school for developmentally disabled youth he performed consensual oral sex on another teenager.

Limon would have served a maximum of 15 months in jail under the Kansas law had the other teenager been female. But because the state’s “Romeo and Juliet” law applies only to heterosexuals, Limon was convicted under the much harsher state sodomy law.

“In America, all people are supposed to be treated the same under the law, but because he’s gay Matthew Limon was sentenced to 13 times longer than another person would have to serve,” said Tamara Lange, Limon’s attorney from the ACLU’s Lesbian and Gay Rights Project.

“We hope that the Court will agree that the state of Kansas should treat all its citizens equally.”

The sex act for which Limon was convicted occurred just one week after his 18th birthday.

“As we’ve said all along, the punishment Matthew Limon received shouldn’t be any different from that anyone else would have been given for the same offense,” said Dick Kurtenbach, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri.

“This young man has already served three and a half years longer than a heterosexual teen would have, and he deserves a chance at rebuilding his life.”

The papers filed today in support of Limon’s appeal argue that the “Romeo and Juliet” law violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection guarantees. The Kansas Supreme Court agreed last month to hear the case after the Kansas Court of Appeals upheld the conviction in January. Limon’s case had landed back before the lower court after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered it to reconsider the matter in light of the Supreme Court’s decision last summer in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down all same-sex-only sodomy laws.

Under the Kansas “Romeo and Juliet” law, consensual oral sex between two teens is a lesser crime if the younger teenager is 14 to 16 years old, if the older teenager is under 19, if the age difference is less than four years, if there are no third parties involved, and if the two teenagers “are members of the opposite sex.”
http://www.sodomylaws.org/usa/kansas/ksnews060.htm

As of August 9, 2004:

Quote:
The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and its Kansas chapter today called on the Kansas Supreme Court to reverse the conviction of a teenager who is serving a prison sentence 13 times longer than he would have received if he were heterosexual.

Matthew Limon is appealing a 206-month prison sentence he received shortly after turning 18 because while he was a resident at a private school for developmentally disabled youth he performed consensual oral sex on another teenager.

Limon would have served a maximum of 15 months in jail under the Kansas law had the other teenager been female. But because the state’s “Romeo and Juliet” law applies only to heterosexuals, Limon was convicted under the much harsher state sodomy law.

The Kansas Supreme Court agreed last month to hear the case after the Kansas Court of Appeals upheld the conviction in January. Limon’s case had landed back before the lower court after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered it to reconsider the matter in light of the Supreme Court’s decision last summer in Lawrence v. Texas, which struck down all same-sex-only sodomy laws.

“The state claims that the much harsher sentence Matthew Limon received is justified for reasons that we as social workers know aren’t valid,” said Dorthy Stucky Halley, president of the Kansas chapter of the NASW. She added, “One’s sexual orientation could never justify 16 additional years in jail.”

In a friend of the court brief, the 153,000 member organization of professional social workers attacks the state’s claims that the length of Limon’s sentence is justified because young people who engage in same-sex intimacy are so impressionable that they may be swayed into becoming gay. The NASW brief points to social science evidence that same-sex attractions surface much earlier in life—well before puberty—and that one gay sexual experience can’t make someone “turn” gay.

In June the ACLU also filed a similar brief on Limon’s behalf. The brief argues that the “Romeo and Juliet” law violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal protection guarantees.

The court has given no indication when it might deliver a ruling in the case.
http://www.sodomylaws.org/usa/kansas/ksnews061.htm
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Old 09-05-2004, 03:15 AM
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Default Re: Gay Teen Gets 17 Year Sentence

Quote:
Originally Posted by solidsquid
Quote:
Lawrence & Garner v. State of Texas
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that sodomy laws are unconstitutional on June 26, 2003.
http://www.sodomylaws.org/lawrence/lawrence.htm
Unfortunately that appears to pertain only to adults:
Quote:
All sodomy laws in the US are now unconstitutional and unenforceable when applied to non-commercial consenting adults in private.
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Old 09-05-2004, 03:59 AM
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Default Re: Gay Teen Gets 17 Year Sentence

Sounds to me like this law is at risk of being struck down on an equal protection basis. I feel so sorry for this kid.

Old joke I heard once:
~~~~
If I build one bridge, does that make me a bridge builder? No.
If I bake one cake does that make me a baker? Not hardly.
But, if I suck one cock...
~~~~
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Old 09-05-2004, 04:29 AM
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Default Re: Gay Teen Gets 17 Year Sentence

Ugh, the poor fucking kid. My heart goes out to his family most of all (well, unless they're homophobic). Nothing really surprises me about discimination based on sexuality anymore though. Which I think I should probably feel bad about.
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