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Murderer Joins Critics of Tex. Judge Who Let Him Off Easy

Associated Press

A judge who said he gave a murderer a lighter sentence because his two victims were homosexual has been condemned by gay and civil-rights groups--and today even drew a critical comment from the convicted killer.

“Everybody’s life is worth the same amount, no matter what they are,” Richard Lee Bednarski told WFAA-TV.

State District Judge Jack Hampton, who sentenced the 18-year-old killer to 30 years in prison Nov. 28 for the execution-style slayings of two men, says the controversy doesn’t bother him as long as his name is spelled right.

Hampton told the Dallas Times Herald last week he didn’t give Bednarski the maximum life sentence because his victims were gay.

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“These two guys that got killed wouldn’t have been killed if they hadn’t been cruising the streets picking up teen-age boys,” Hampton said.

About 200 people protested for the judge’s removal outside the Dallas County Courthouse Monday in a rally organized by women’s and gay-rights groups, while civil-rights groups denounced the judge at a news conference in Austin.

“The effect of his remarks is to declare open season on the gay residents of Dallas County,” said Tom Doyal, legal director of the Texas Human Rights Foundation.

Robert Flowers, executive director of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, said there will be a general inquiry into the complaints and that the commission will probably hear a preliminary report at its Jan. 13 meeting.

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