Two men who killed an Ecuadorean immigrant on a Brooklyn street in December 2008 were each sentenced today. Prosecutors had said that Keith Phoenix and Hakim Scott brutally beat Jose Sucuzhanay because they thought he was gay (Sucuzhanay was walking arm-in-arm with his brother) and yelled anti-Hispanic and anti-gay epithets during the attack. Phoenix got 37 years to life (25 years for murder as a hate crime, plus 12 years for attempted assault as a hate crime), while Scott received 37 years (25 years for manslaughter and 12 years for attempted assault).
Phoenix, who was found guilty of hate crime charges while Scott was not, told Justice Patricia M. DiMango, "It had nothing to do with race or sexual orientation. I am not a monster." But DiMango said to Phoenix, "You, Mr. Phoenix, believed the victim was a lesser person... It is beyond the comprehension of any civilized individual to think that for any reason at all that another person motivated for...the sport of it, take another human being's life in such a cruel and wanton manner."