The young men convicted of murdering Luis Ramirez by ruthlessly beating him in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania on July 12, 2008 were finally sentenced today, more than two years after the fatal beating.
A federal grand jury indicted Derrick Donchak and Brandon Piekarsky, two of the Shenandoah, PA teenagers responsible for the attack, on hate crimes charges after the two were previously acquitted by an all-white jury of third-degree murder, aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation charges.
Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell played an important role in getting the Justice Department to take another look at the case, writing a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder which stated, "The evidence suggests that Mr. Ramirez was targeted, beaten and killed because he was Mexican. Such lawlessness and violence hurts not only the victim of the attack, but also our towns and communities that are torn apart by such bigotry and intolerance."
The Justice Department announced that both Donchak and Piekarsky were sentenced today to nine years in prison for the fatal beating.