3 May 2009

Pair cleared over fatal beating of US immigrant

7:53 pm on 3 May 2009

Advocacy groups in the US have complained about a jury's decision to acquit two men of all serious charges relating to the fatal beating of an illegal Mexican immigrant.

The trial has put the small coal mining town of Shenandoah in rural Pennsylvania at the heart of the debate in the United States over the treatment of undocumented Latino immigrants.

The Mexican-American Legal Defence and Education Fund (MALDF) called the jury's acquittal of the two men on the more serious charges they faced in connection with the killing of a Mexican immigrant a travesty of justice.

Jury members said that the fact that the killing occurred during a street fight made it difficult to determine if there had been malicious intent on the part of the accused.

MALDF says it will ask the US justice department to look into the filing of hate crime charges against the two men.