The Governor said that the evidence and testimony presented during the trial justified charges against Brandon Piekarsky and Derrick Donchak for violating Ramirez's civil rights. Governor Rendell noted that one of the co-conspirators in the case, Colin Walsh, has already plead guilty to civil rights violations.
"Such lawlessness and violence hurts not only the direct victim of the attack but also our towns and communities that are torn apart by such bigotry and intolerance. That is why I am pleased that the Department of Justice is presently investigating whether to bring civil rights charges against Piekarsky and Donchak for their role in the fatal beating of Mr. Ramirez. I believe that justice and fairness mandate such a prosecution."
After the jury rendered its decision earlier this month, Governor Rendell wrote the county's district attorney, James Goodman, stating his belief that Piekarsky and Donchak deserved the maximum possible sentence for their roles in the savage assault and killing of Ramirez.
In that letter, the Governor said while he did not wish to second-guess the jury's decision, he felt imposing the maximum possible sentence would send a message that this kind of senseless criminal behavior and ethnic intimidation is not appropriate.
The Rendell administration is committed to creating a first-rate public education system, protecting our most vulnerable citizens and continuing economic investment to support our communities and businesses. To find out more about Governor Rendell's initiatives and to sign up for his newsletter, visit http://www.governor.state.pa.us/.