22-year-old Robert Aaron Long was indicted on murder charges yesterday in both Fulton and Cherokee Counties in Georgia. If you’ll recall, Long is accused of shooting and killing eight people at three different massage parlors in and around the Atlanta-area.
The Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has also filed notice that her office will be seeking the death penalty against Long. When Willis was campaigning for her office, she said that she couldn’t imagine a circumstance where she would seek the death penalty. Long’s killing spree has changed her mind. But let’s not count our killers before they’re executed. In Georgia, for a death sentence to be handed down, the sentence has to be a unanimous decision among jurors. In today’s climate, I don’t see 12 people coming together to hand out the most final form of justice.
Fulton County will also be filing hate crime charges against Long since six of his victims were Asian women. While Long’s crimes may fulfil the state requirements of a hate crime, but I don’t think Long woke up that day and set out to kill only Asian women. It’s just that most massage parlors are mostly staffed by Asian women. As I previously mentioned, no other Asian businesses were attacked. Long was also said to be on his way to a Florida porno shop to allegedly commit more killings. Again, this in no way excuses Long of the atrocities he’s accused of committing, nor does it excuse any kind of violence toward Asian-Americans. I guess I just feel the need to be pedantic every once in a while.
The bottom line is: hate crime charges, ok. Death penalty, ok. Just don’t expect an execution to actually happen.