Matthew had a great passion for equality and always stood up for the acceptance of people's differences. The jury found McKinney not guilty of premeditated murder but guilty of felony murder and began to deliberate on the death penalty. While he lay in intensive care and in the days following the attack, candlelight vigils were held around the world. Donnell to two consecutive life terms. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The fight resulted in head wounds for both Morales and McKinney.
Archived from the original on December 21,
Fifteen years after Matthew Shepard's murder, Wyoming remains anti-gay
Shepard's death inspired films, novels, plays, songs, and other works. The state is one of only four that has refused to adopt hate crimes protections for the LGBT community — the others being Georgia, Indiana and South Carolina. Within hours of discovering Shepard, his friends Walt Boulden and Alex Trout began to contact media organizations, claiming that Shepard had been assaulted because he was gay. Retrieved January 14, Shepard's parents brokered a deal that resulted in McKinney receiving two consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole. The group wore white robes and gigantic wings resembling angels that blocked the protesters. Matthew Shepard's life, death, trial, and its aftermath have inspired numerous worksincluding documentary and narrative films and television shows, stage plays such as The Laramie Projectand musical and written works.
Significant media coverage was given to the killing and to what role Shepard's sexual orientation played as a motive in the commission of the crime. In the aftermath of the brutal killing, several states adopted new hate crimes laws that offered additional protection on grounds of sexual orientation and in some cases gender identity. In the following session of the Wyoming Legislature, a bill was introduced that defined certain attacks motivated by victim identity as hate crimes. Views Read Edit View history. At Henderson's sentencing, his lawyer argued that Shepard had not been targeted because he was gay. Retrieved November 16, This page was last edited on 12 Februaryat