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Homophobic Attackers Who Blinded Teen Face Judge. Is Their Punishment Enough?

Kardin Ulysse, the 14-year-old boy set upon by classmates who called him homophobic slurs as they pummeled him senseless, wasn’t on hand to hear his attackers get arraigned on Friday. He was busy having corneal surgery to save his right eye.

It’s his fifth surgery in a month.

In June, a pair of students at Roy H. Mann Junior High in Brooklyn, New York, saw Ulysse wearing a wig as a joke and immediately set upon the eighth-grader. One held his arms while the other punched his face, neck and head as they called him names like “fucking faggot,” “pussy,” transvestite” and “gay.” Ulysse escaped, but the fight continued in the cafeteria until school officials stepped in.

The two boys, 13 and 14, pleased not guilty to charges of assault as a hate crime—the maximum sentence they can receive is 18 months in a juvenile facility. They would face considerably more jail time under the hate crime statute if they were adults.

Ulysse’s parents, who are suing the city for $16 million for not providing sufficient school security, believe the teens’ punishment is too lenient: “These are not children,” says Pierre Ulysse. “They’re animals. Unfortunately I can’t do to them what I want to do.”

Taking someone’s eyesight does seem to merit a biblical punishment, but these kids are barely teens. Should it have been a harsher—or longer—sentence?

On:           Jul 16, 2012
    • Pam

      Who cares that they are barely teens? They’re not toddlers who accidentally stabbed or hit another boy in the eye. They’re more than old enough to know what the results of their attack could be (and I dare say that is exactly why they did it). I hope others in their juvenile facility give them the retribution that the ridiculous law can’t.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 8:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Baba Booey

      Blinded him because he’s gay? The only punishment deserving is the death penalty. I would have these little bastards executed immediately.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 8:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez

      @Pam: More than likely they will be seen as heroes in any juvenile facility they go to. Juvenile detention centers are not exactly gay friendly, and in fact, in most cases, being gay in such a facility is dangerous.

      I love how the parents want to cash in on this. Suing the city for 16 million is not exactly the way to endear people to the cause.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 8:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kev C

      @Daez: They need to sue the city. Having money means not caring about what your homophobic neighbors think. 16 mill is too low.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 8:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JameyBoy

      This is a damn shame. This only teaches people that they can blind someone because of their sexuality and all they will receive is 18 months in a juvenile facility. I am usually not a proponent of the death penalty but these two should fry or at least spend a substantial amount of time inside the wall of a prison. At 14 wrong is wrong these aren’t some mindless babies these are teens with developed cognitive skills. They may have not meant to victim but they did intend to inflict pain. The only other solution would be for us to refer to and eye for an eye mentality and beat them into blindness.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 9:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeE

      I don’t believe in automatic referrals to Juvenile Court. I don’t believe in Young Offender’s policies.

      If the crime is heinous, the offenders should automatically be treated as adults. They didn’t TP someone’s house. They physically assaulted another human being.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 9:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Max

      No death penalty, and no ridiculously long prison sentence. Three to Five years in a correctional facility. These are children and no one should ever be put to death for anything no matter how much we want them to. The mother is wrong. The kids aren’t animals. They have friends and loved ones too and no human being should say they don’t deserve to live.

      This place needs mandatory LGBT awareness, sensitivity training, and anti-bullying things in school though.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 9:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mia

      Really? Y’all are advocating to kill 13 year old children? We’re taking eye for an eye up a level now? Put out a kids eye and call him queer, and watch out! The gays will try to get you executed, even if your balls just dropped. That reflects really well on our community…You want to talk about trivializing homophobia and bullying, and here you are trivializing the death penalty.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 10:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Hammer

      I’m definitely siding with this kid, so he gets blinded and the bullies ‘go away’ for some time!! Give me a break the least you can do to this kid and his family is not deny what an animalish behaviour that was!

      Jul 16, 2012 at 10:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • s.b.

      apparently there are bigger victims in this comment thread, you guys are dreaming..

      Jul 16, 2012 at 11:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Riley

      I am not a person who swears but fucking kills those twats. These stupid motherfucking cunt faced idiots are a perfect example of why I hate kids. Fucking cunts I say. If I ever saw something so senseless happening right in front of my eyes, I’d fucking kill them.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 11:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ewan

      They’re kids for christ sake. If you think they should be executed then you’re a grade A moron. They need rehabilitated, and in until they are, kept the f**** away from other people. Detainment as a punishment doesn’t work. It turns people that have the potential for improvement into psychos.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 11:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • steve

      Castrate the parents so they can’t have any more devil children.. and blind the accusers… that is justice!

      Jul 16, 2012 at 11:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JWilliamson

      I’d rather see them re-homed and given therapy to work out their issues than a long jail sentence that will benefit no one in the long term.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg

      jeez, do you guys figure there maybe is SOME middle ground between the death penalty (!) and 18 months? Laws can’t be written retroactively, that’s in the Constitution. Plus the Supreme Court says the death penalty is only for murder and can’t be used on kids anyway (even in Texas!). Try stomping your feet, maybe that’ll work.

      But unfortunately all they will “learn” in 18 months at Juvy is how to become pretty good career criminals. Suing for $$$ is appropriate because schools don’t take this stuff seriously otherwise.

      @s.b.: Yeah, I’ve long had a theory (unprovable I guess) that the toughest-talking posters here on Queerty are the ones who were NOT seriously bullied as kids and have NOT been assaulted as adults. It’s all theoretical to them.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg

      Another reason suing for money is totally appropriate here: obviously the victim will have life-long medical costs.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg

      (after looking it up) – The state this happened in, NY, doesn’t have the death penalty anyway.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • luther

      An eye for an eye! And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee!

      Jul 16, 2012 at 1:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Patch

      If those little bastards dared touching me, they wouldn’t need the death panelty anymore ;)

      Jul 16, 2012 at 1:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JameyBoy

      @JameyBoy: After thinking about it for a while perhaps the death penalty was though of in haste. I still think that they know wrong from right but therapy might be a better course of action.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clockwork

      Not sure how or if, the state of New York clears juvenile records when they turn eighteen;

      But with violent crimes of this type they should not be cleared from the record, that way if the individual commits another act of violence, a proper and increased sentence for a history of violence can be brought upon the perpetrator.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 3:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 14 · the other Greg wrote, “jeez, do you guys figure there maybe is SOME middle ground between the death penalty (!) and 18 months? Laws can’t be written retroactively, that’s in the Constitution. Plus the Supreme Court says the death penalty is only for murder and can’t be used on kids anyway (even in Texas!). Try stomping your feet, maybe that’ll work.”

      Yep, the maximum penalty allowed is 18 months and you can’t change it retroactively. I suspect some didn’t read the article carefully and thought 18 months was the longest sentence the judge would consider instead of the longest sentence he was allowed to impose. The death penalty stuff was way over the top – hopefully meant figuratively or as hyperbole.

      The best bet is a lawsuit, against both the school and the parents of the kids responsible. For the school to get any sympathy if I were on the jury, it better have offered to pay the victim’s medical bills with no questions asked immediately with everything possible done to restore the victim’s eyesight in the damaged eye, plus an offer to cover lifelong medical costs associated with that injury. The families of the kids responsible should have made the same offer up to their ability to pay.

      Around here, some parents had bumper stickers bragging about their kids being honor students. Then a few people got bumper stickers saying, “my kid beat up your honor student” or something very similar. Maybe we should ask if the delinquents’ parents had somehow encouraged the kids to do it and charge the parents with child endangerment if they had.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Basch

      These kids knew what they were doing. I’m sure they were too stupid to realize that they could do some actual permanent harm to the kid, but that isn’t because they’re 14, it’s because they’re just stupid people. And maybe I’m wrong and they didn’t care what happened to him after they were through with him, in which case they deserve a harsh punishment as well.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Basch

      Also to the people saying that these kids need to be rehabilitated to improve themselves…they created a life altering situation for this poor boy, they can afford to possibly be a little f’ed up after having spent some time locked away somewhere. We all know these kids aren’t going to grow up to be the president of the united states, let them rot for a little while. For them to do something like this, it would have obviously been something else if it had not been this instance of assault.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 3:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Scott

      The parents of the attackers need to be sued for raising such animals. They are a reflection of their parents. Even the Church says the age of reason is 7 so they should have known better. Send the kids to military school and make their parents pay for their kids’ actions. Once away from their parents they might actually rehabilitate.

      Jul 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ewoks R Us

      Cut their hands off!

      Jul 16, 2012 at 10:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • frenchjr25

      This level of violence shows a severe issue is affecting at least one of them. Maybe abuse at home (which is very typical in things like this). What these boys need is help, not years in a facility where they are going to be subjected to all kinds of abuse.

      BUT they do need to be punished in some way. Prison is not the right place.

      Jul 17, 2012 at 12:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees

      Where did this mean spiritedness come from?
      How did they get that way?
      What are their parents and siblings like?
      What are their religious backgrounds, if any?
      What kind of friends do they have?

      Let’s hope and pray that Kardin Ulysse has successful eye surgery.

      Jul 17, 2012 at 5:19 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • scott ny'er

      y’know, it takes a lot of thought and introspection to see what really goes on inside oneself. And that is if one is willing to do it. If one is being forced, I’m not sure how much change will happen.

      I think most bullies are bullies for life. Very few leopards change their spots. I could be wrong. Hell, I hope I’m wrong. But honestly, 18 months doesn’t not equal blinding someone. It’s unfair. It’s unjust.

      Jul 17, 2012 at 11:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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