An ongoing double murder investigation in Northern Virginia highlights the stark racism inherent in America’s criminal justice system.
Authorities in Fairfax County, Virginia recently decided to try Nicholas Giampa, a 17-year-old neo-Nazi who killed his 16-year-old girlfriend’s parents before shooting himself, as a minor. The victims — 43-year-old Buckley Kuhn-Fricker and 48-year-old Scott Fricker — had discovered the boy their daughter was dating ran a Twitter account calling for genocide against transgender individuals and Jews, praising Hitler, and asking followers to read books by proponents of anti-semitism and racism.
When they forbade their daughter from seeing Giampa, the teen came to their home and allegedly shot them to death while their 10-year-old son was in the house. As of January 4, Giampa was being treated for a brain injury in relation to his self-inflicted gunshot wound at the Reston Hospital Center. HuffPost confirmed that a Twitter account rife with toxic racism was using the same email address Giampa used for his Facebook profile. The account has since been suspended.
While Giampa is recovering from his wounds under police guard, another woman convicted of murder when she was 16 years old is expected to spend the rest of her life in prison. 29-year-old Cyntoia Brown is serving a life sentence in Tennessee for the crime of killing a 43-year-old man in 2004 who was attempting to forcibly have sex with her while she was a minor. She has been in jail for over a decade after she was tried and convicted as an adult.
After running away from a drug-addicted mother who dabbled in prostitution, Brown was eventually forced into sex slavery by a pimp named Kutthroat. Her predator forced her to have sex with him and his friends, and eventually coerced her into giving him money regularly. This led to Brown meeting with the 43-year-old who purchased the 16-year-old for sex, whom she would later kill. Under Tennessee law, Brown is not eligible for parole until she’s 67 years old.
Brown’s case received viral attention late last year after recording artist Rihanna posted about her on her Instagram account. Reality TV celebrity Kim Kardashian West also tweeted about Brown, saying she was contacting her lawyers to see what could be done about freeing Brown. As of this writing, Brown remains in prison.
Jordan Shaw is a New Jersey-based freelancer specializing in national and state government issues. When he’s not writing, you can find him volunteering in Camden, New Jersey, or hiking the Wissahickon Valley Park.