Man Convicted of Killing Immigrant, but Not of Hate Crime

Jose Sucuzhañay was the Ecuadorean immigrant who was killed on a Bushwick Street in December 2008. One of the assailants was convicted of manslaughter on Thursday, and now faces up to 40 years in prison (the jury is still out on the second assailant).

Sucuzhañay was targeted because he Hispanic, because he thought to be gay, or both. Despite this, there was no conviction on hate-crimes charges, which could have carried a life sentence. I disagree with hate-crime legislation, but if it is on the books, this should qualify as a hate crime. When it comes time for sentencing, the judge will hopefully take the aggravating factors into consideration, and give the defendant the full 40-year maximum (which is a better way of handling aggravating hate-crime circumstances anyway).