March 26, 2006
Written by C.N.
Back in 2004, in the process of delivering a $10 Chinese takeout order, an 18 year old Chinese American deliveryman was lured into an apartment and then repeatedly beaten and stabbed to death by three young men. These three men were subsequently found guilty of murder and two of them were recently sentenced to more than 50 years in prison:
Prosecutors claimed the killing was a robbery and initiation into a branch of the notorious Bloods gang. Another one of the teens, Charles Bryant, 18, was already sentenced last May, to 52 years to life in prison. The third member of the group, Nayquan Miller, 18, agreed to a plea deal. He later testified against Capehart and is expected to be sentenced next month. . . .
Community leaders hailed the stiff prison term. “This is the kind of sentencing that will ensure criminals will face the full force of our justice system, especially if they think food delivery workers are easy prey,” said New York City Council Member John Liu.
Normally I consider myself liberal in terms of crime and criminal justice, and that young and first-time criminals should normally be given a chance to atone for their crime and become rehabilitated into productive citizens. However, there are certain crimes that defy understanding and as a result, defy my usual sympathy for the accused. This is one of those crimes.
In this case, justice was (somewhat surprisingly) served for the entire Asian American community, American society in general, and of course, for the Chen family who lost their son in such a violent and devastating way.
At the same time, I can’t help but fear that this entire episode is not likely to do wonders for Asian-Black relations. Although there are plenty of Blacks who probably feel that the murderers got what they deserve, there are also likely to be many who feel that the guilty men were sentenced too harshly and coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, were not given an opportunity to redeem themselves.
Ultimately, I hope that many Americans of all different races and backgrounds can agree on is that the vast majority of minorities who are poor and disadvantaged do not gang up on and murder innocent Chinese takeout deliverymen. Being victims of racism does not make it ok to perpetrate such an evil act — one that hurts all Americans, whatever their skin color.
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Suggested reference: Le, C.N. . "Justice in Chinese Deliveryman Murder Case" Asian-Nation: The Landscape of Asian America. <http://www.asian-nation.org/headlines/2006/03/justice-in-chinese-deliveryman-murder-case/> ().
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