“The hunting season is over, at least for now,” – Joselo Lucero
The story made national headlines and Law & Order aired an episode focused on the topic, but the real story does not fit into a 60-minute episode and had stretched on over the past 17 months, but the family of Ecuadorian immigrant, Marcelo Lucero, finally received justice in a Long Island New York courtroom on Monday.
Dos Lives has covered this story since Marcelo Lucero was fatally stabbed in 2008 by Jeffrey Conroy, a white teenager who lives in Long Island, New York and Monday he was found guilty of manslaughter as a hate crime, but acquitted of murder. You’ll see in the New York Times coverage below, what was needed to convict of murder and we agree with Marcelo’s brother that justice has been done. We hope the judge will not be lenient in his sentencing of Jeffrey Conroy which could be as few as eight years behind bars and as much as 25. When you lose a loved one, there is never closure, but we hope that this will help Lucero’s family in the healing process. Our hearts go out to you.
Selected New York Times Coverage:
Mr. Lucero’s death exposed racial tensions on eastern Long Island and caused a number of Hispanic residents to come forward saying they were the victims of harassment and assaults. Advocates for immigrants criticized the Suffolk County Police Department for failing to fully investigate complaints of assaults on Latinos, and also criticized some county leaders and politicians for fueling the hostility with anti-immigrant statements. Federal authorities are investigating the department’s handling of reports of racially motivated attacks on Hispanics.
Marcelo Lucero’s brother, Joselo Lucero, said they were satisfied that justice had been done. “The hunting season is over, at least for now,” Joselo Lucero told reporters, a reference to the prosecution’s allegation that Mr. Conroy and his friends often hunted for Hispanic men to assault, an activity that the authorities said they referred to as “Mexican hopping.”
The jury’s verdict meant that they had agreed with one of the arguments made by Mr. Conroy’s lawyer, William Keahon, that his client did not intend to kill Mr. Lucero. To convict Mr. Conroy of second-degree murder, the jury needed to find that he intended to kill Mr. Lucero, and to convict of first-degree manslaughter, they needed to find that Mr. Conroy caused Mr. Lucero’s death while intending to cause serious physical injury, not death.
Mr. Lucero was stabbed once in the chest. The knife did not penetrate the chest cavity or strike any major organs, but cut an artery and a large vein.
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