Kenny’s Law

Kenny Chiu was a friend of mine about my sister’s age who was murdered outside of his home in Laguna Hills on July 30, 2001. Kenny was my friend and a friend of my family and I had known him all through high school and in junior high as well. He was stabbed to death in his driveway, about 2 or 3 blocks away from my home in the same neighbourhood, by a white supremicist in a violent hate crime. I had briefly posted about his and another friend of mine’s death in November 2001.

There currently are bills AB 2428 and AB 2191 (called “Kenny’s Law”) that have exited the California State Senate Public Safety Committe to enhance protections around hate crimes. Please write to your state representative to support these two bills.

Some more background out of the press releases regarding these two bills:

Kenny Chiu, a 17 year old Taiwanese American boy, was brutally murdered simply because he was Asian. In July 2001, Christopher Hearn, Kenny’s next door neighbor, waited for Kenny to come home and then stabbed him over 25 times in the driveway of his own house. Hearn was found guilty of first degree murder with special enhancements for lying in wait and hate animus during the guilt phase of the trial. But the final verdict rendered Hearn not guilty by reason of insanity.

AB 2191 clarifies the law to allow a victim or next of kin, in the case where a victim is deceased, to request notification of release from the director of the state facility. The state facility must make notification at least 15 days prior to the date of the hearing. The victim or next of kin is responsible for keeping the agency updated with any changes in address.

AB 2428 strengthens protections for victims of hate crimes by requiring the courts, absent compelling circumstances, to issue a protective order when a  hate crime perpetrator is released on probation, parole  or conditional release from a state mental institution. Additionally, this bill will extend the authority for courts  and the parole agency to order anti-bias and/or sensitivity training.