In the wake of the tragic massacre at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas, legendary comedian and political commentator, D.L. Hughley recently shared a meme highlighting the supposed differences between the potential sentences of the 17-year-old shooter, Dimitrios Pagourtzis, and infamous rapper, Taymor “Tay-K” McIntyre, who is of the same age.
Today (May 22), Hughley took to Twitter to offer his take on the horrific shooting with the meme, which depicts a side-by-side comparison of Pagourtzis and McIntyre’s cases with the hashtags #ThisIsAmerica #ItsTooMuch #TeamDl. The picture attempts to highlight how both teenagers are the same age, accused of committing murderous acts in the same state, yet, according to online speculation, have different sentences. (Unlike Pagourtzis, who is white, Tay-K is rumored to be facing the death penalty.)
The comparison stems from the news of the school shooter not being eligible for the death penalty or a life sentence in Texas. CNN reports that due to the rulings of two U.S. Supreme Court cases in 2005 and in 2012, a person under the age of 18 cannot be sentenced for the death penalty as it constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment," violating the 8th Amendment of the Constitution, and cannot hand life sentences to minors as a mandatory sentence, respectively. Furthermore, the rulings act in combination with Texas law, declaring that the maximum sentence for minors is 40 years with the possibility of parole. He faces charges of capital murder and aggravated assault on a public servant after murdering 10 people and injuring 13 others.
McIntyre, who is currently being tried as an adult for the 2016 home robbery and murder of 21-year-old Ethan Walker (and will turn 18 in June) reportedly faces a capital murder charge. A Texas judge has recently ruled that his should case be moved to the adult system, despite him being 16 during when the incident occurred. However, there has been no word from a legal official or any accurate reporting from a traditional news outlet on whether the rapper faces death penalty, as the same laws would apply in this instance as well. However, him being tried as an adult could potentially play a role in his sentencing. He was recently denied bond, according to XXL.
D.L. was not the only one who shared his thoughts on the supposed double standard. T.I. wrote a lengthy caption on the subject on an Instagram post. "This is America!!!! We MUST START STANDING BY OURS THE SAME WAY THEY STAND BY THEIRS!!!!!" Tip wrote. "We can’t keep just throwing ours away when they f**k up, while they give they people every consideration possible .... FUCTHAT!!!!"
He added, "One of them was arrested on the scene of the school shooting that claimed 10 lives. The other was a warranted arrest with little physical evidence, just word of mouth. So, the question is how is the D.A. seeking the death penalty for Tay K & not the other guy? AND THAT HES A MINOR SH*T WEAK...THEIR [sic] THE SAME AGE!!!!!!"
Though it is extremely early regarding the Pagourtzis case, when considering all factors and laws between Texas and the federal government, it is possible that the school shooter could also be tried as an adult akin to McIntyre, along with the latter not being eligible for the death penalty either.