Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Never Forget the Killers

This adds to the long list of anti-gay killings and attacks I posted in a previous blog. One more entry, this time taken FROM THE WEBSITE OF THE LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION:

Convicted Killer Ryan Cran To Be Released From Prison After Serving Four Years Of Six Year Sentence In Murder Of Aaron Webster

January 28, 2009
(Vancouver, British Columbia) The man described as the ringleader in killing of a gay man in a Vancouver park eight years ago is being released early from prison after serving four years of a six-year sentence.Ryan Cran was convicted of manslaughter in 2005 in the slaying of Aaron Webster.
Webster’s naked body was found in a pool of blood on a footpath near a public parking lot in a gay cruising area of Vancouver’s Stanley Park in November 2001. An autopsy showed he had been beaten to death with a blunt instrument, probably a baseball bat. Stanley Park was a well known cruising area and the killing galvanized Vancouver’s gay community and police at the time.
Cran was sentenced to six years in prison, while two young offenders received lesser terms after admitting their roles in the November 2001 beating. A fourth man was found not guilty.
At Cran’s sentencing, prosecutors asked for a six- to nine-year sentence, but did not seek to have the case treated as a hate crime to allow for a longer sentence - something that angered Webster’s family and BC LGBT activists.
Nevertheless, at the sentencing hearing, the judge was told that Cran had not shown any remorse for the killing. The prosecutor said that the pack of armed men were looking to hunt down another human being for entertainment.
The two juveniles were released after serving two years in a youth detention center.
During his four years behind bars, Cran launched several unsuccessful appeals. Under Canadian law, a prisoner can be freed after serving two-thirds of a sentence if there have been no problems during the incarceration.
Webster’s cousin Denise Norman had lobbied the National Parole Board to have Cran banned from the predominantly gay West End where the park was located.
The board disregarded Norman’s plea. Cran’s release conditions only require counseling, refraining from alcohol, and having no contact with Webster’s family.

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