Forde's victims: Junior and Brisenia Flores
It was a rare sight yesterday in an Arizona court room: a right-wing terrorist was brought to justice for her crimes, including the vicious execution-style murder of a nine-year old girl. Rare because right-wing terrorists are rarely brought to trial in this country: they typically prefer to kill themselves or go down in a hail of gunfire.
Shawna Forde, whom a jury convicted last week of murdering nine-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father, Raul Flores, was sentenced to death by an Arizona jury on Tuesday. The unanimous jury ruling is binding.Read the complete story here.
The court found that Forde led a group of anti-immigrant vigilantes in a March 2009 raid on the Flores home, where they posed as immigration agents and pushed their way through the door.
She and her accomplices, Albert Robert Gaxiola and Jason Eugene Bush, allegedly shot Raul Flores before turning their guns on Brisenia, who begged not to be shot. Gina Gonzalez, Brisenia's mother, played dead and survived the attack.
The case was not designated as a hate crime, despite Forde's long history with anti-immigrant organizations. She once maintained a Tea Party blog, was a member of Minuteman Civil Defense Corps and has presented herself as a representative of Federation for American Immigration Reform. (All three have since distanced themselves from her.) After being cast out from the Minuteman group due to erratic behavior, she formed her own vigilante group, called Minutemen American Defense, which also patrolled the United States-Mexico border trying to detect illegal immigration.
Of course all the right-wing organizations Forde was affiliated with--and often served in a leadership role--have since distanced themselves from her. Of course they have. What was it that the tape always said on Mission Impossible?
"As always, should you or any of your I.M. Force be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow any knowledge of your actions."Yep.