Thursday, January 5, 2012

2 sentenced in '93 UK killing of black teen, January 5, 2012

Victim: Stephen Lawrence who was stabbed to death in April 1993

Victim: Stephen Lawrence who was stabbed to death in April 1993. [Photo/Agencies]
A London judge sentenced two white men to life in prison on Wednesday for killing a black teenager more than 18 years ago.
Gary Dobson, 36, and David Norris, 35, were found guilty of murdering Stephen Lawrence after a six-week trial triggered by new forensic evidence.
Dobson will be in prison for a minimum of 15 years and two months, and Norris will serve at least 14 years and three months behind bars.
The case exposed racism in Scotland Yard and prompted widespread soul-searching about race relations in Britain, Washington Post said.
As the pair were juvenile when they committed the crime, the sentence was somewhat slighter, said a BBC report.
After the sentence was announced, Stephen Lawrence's mother Doreen said outside the court that she was "pleased" about it, as the family's stress caused by the case was finally recognized. While the victim's father Neville hoped that other killers are brought to justice as well.
In April, 1993, Stephen Lawrence, 18 then, was waiting for bus in south London, while several white youngsters approached him. One of them insulted Lawrence and his friend with racist words, before violence began. When Lawrence finally escaped, he was found bleeding from the neck and the chest, and collapsed shortly.
Five suspects were arrested after Lawrence's death, but nobody got charged. In the following 18 years, Doreen and Neville tried all out to bring the killers to justice. The sluggishness of police in the case invited criticism of "institutionally racist."
British Prime Minister David Cameron said Tuesday that hopefully the result could bring at least some comfort to the family after "years of their struggle."
Doreen said during an interview with BBC that although the verdict couldn't bring his son back, there were a lot of reasons to celebrate.
"Racist men can no longer think they can murder the black people and get away," she said.

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