Monday, October 06, 2008

Lawrence King's killer has a defense fund in his name

Well, Brandon McInerney is a 14-year-old who's being tried as an adult, and plenty of people, including several GLBT rights groups, think it important that a minor still be legally treated as a minor even in the case of murder. I could imagine any number of groups would cheerfully and openly fund McInerney's defense on that basis.

But I find it slightly odd that the people actually responsible for The Brandon Mcinerney Defense Fund are not identifiable. The Fund's own website says that the account is administered by Leiderman Devine LLP, a fairly mainstream lawyer group from what I can see, but they only administer the account, and have no actual involvement in the court case itself. One possible advantage of this arrangement is that the real identity of the Fund's owners is likely protected by attorney-client privilege. The domain name of the website is registered via Domains by Proxy, a service that offers itself as a way of keeping a domain name owner's details out of the public whois registry.

I try not to be distrustful of anonymity per se, since I think it's important as a way of making speech truly free. But this is about funding a court case rather than speech, and I'm concerned about why the identity of the fund maintainer is veiled. All the groups that I can think of who might have an interest here, including "pro-family" (ie, anti-gay) groups like the Alliance Defense Fund, would want their identity known. Who is this?

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