Saturday, July 30, 2011

Every Murder Victim Has A Story: Ebony Franklin Update

On December 10, 2010, Dissenting Justice reported on the murder of 17-year-old Ebony Franklin. Franklin was among several teen homicide victims in the Washington, DC late last year. Franklin was stabbed repeatedly and stuffed in a trash can in the Columbia Heights section of NW Washington.

Earlier this year, police arrested Franklin's father, Rodney McIntyre, and charged him with murdering his daughter. Prior to his arrest, McIntyre claimed that police were harassing him rather than looking for his daughter's killer. Police evidence, however, indicated that McIntyre had sexual contact with Franklin before her death. Earlier this week, he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder.

Interestingly, when police first announced McIntyre's arrest, they stated that they had evidence of a "sexual relationship" between Franklin and her father. Many media outlets repeated this language. Several commentators (including myself) criticized the use of this language. Women who are savagely murdered by men after sexual contact with those same men typically did not consent to sex. In the plea agreement, prosecutors describe the attack as a sexual assault, even though McIntyre only pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. has more on this case, including documents related to the plea agreement.

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