Conviction in the murder of Jamiel Shaw

An undocumented immigrant and known gang member was convicted on Wednesday in the murder of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr.

Pedro Espinoza, 23, was found guilty of first-degree murder in the March 2, 2008 shooting of Shaw, a football star at Los Angeles High School. The jury deliberated for less than four hours before reaching its verdict. It found special circumstances in the killing, which makes Espinoza eligible for the death penalty. On May 15th, the same jury will begin considering whether Espinoza should be put to death or sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

“It restores your faith in the justice system” said Jamiel Shaw Sr. outside the court room after the verdict was announced.

Shaw was shot twice near his home in Arlington Heights. Prosecutors allege that Espinoza thought Shaw was a member of the rival Bloods gang because he was carrying a red Spider-Man backpack. At the time of the shooting, Espinoza had just been released from jail and was living in the United States illegally.

The murder of their son turned the Shaw family into anti-immigration activists. They have a website in their campaign for Jamiel’s Law that would allow police to arrest undocumented immigrant gang members and turn them over to federal authorities.

Speak Your Mind