One of two men who were charged in the Kentucky State Court with attempted murder stemming from the April beating of Kevin Pennington which is being prosecuted as a hate crime, has filed a suit saying that he cannot be charged under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act because the federal government “arbitrarily” created a protected population.
“Providing greater protection for victims of crime based on sexual orientation than other crime victims is advancing the arbitrarily creation of classes of individuals,” said Anthony Ray Jenkins attorney Willis Coffey who stands accused of the crime. This trial is the first time someone is being charged under the hate crime law’s sexual orientation protections.
A decision on the matter would set a precedent that either cements the law or calls it into question, leading to a potential judicial showdown like the one currently brewing around marriage equality.
Jenkins attorney, Willis Coffey, is an activist for conservative causes in Kentucky. He also is an evangelical christian and tends toward Christian Dominionism
Interestingly according to Coffey, creating or recognizing any kind of classification is automatically problematic… which would also include religious protections. Is he trying to overturn the entire body of equal protection jurisprudence in one fell swoop?
Regardless The Supreme Court has already unanimously ruled that penalty-enhancement hate crime laws are constitutional (Wisconsin v. Mitchell)
This is nothing but hot air, hate, and a waste of the States money from a criminal and his shyster religious extremist lawyer.