Daughter slams judge for making stepfather who murdered her mother a U.S. citizen


A Florida woman lashed out at a Manhattan judge who recently granted her Jamaica immigrant stepfather U.S. citizenship even though he stabbed her mother to death 26 years ago.

FATHERS RIGHTS FATHERHOOD EXALTATION- This just so wrong in every sense. WE REWARD Murderers in the USA. Especially MOMMY murderers.

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Vernon Lawson, left, was convicted of murdering Vena May Campbell (at right in pink dress) in 1985.
Rushell Somers, 35, slammed Judge Denny Chin for his decision allowing Lawson to receive his American citizenship.

Federal Judge Denny Chin last week ordered immigration officials to give Vernon Lawson, 65, his citizenship.

The judge said the Vietnam vet had convinced him he had redeemed himself by kicking his drug and alcohol problems and getting an education while behind bars.

"His ruling should be overturned - that's a gross miscarriage of justice if there ever was one," said Rushell Somers, 35, of Chin's decision.

"I'm so upset. I can't even put it into words. My mother had a life. She had a beautiful life. Where's the justice for her?"

Court records show Lawson, a Marine, was high on PCP-laced marijuana and racked with post-traumatic stress disorder when he stabbed Vena May Campbell to death in April 1985. Lawson then turned himself in at a police station.

"That morning when he came to our home ... when the knock came to the door, my mother answered the door," recalled Somers, who was 10 at the time.

"I was peeping behind the door looking at them - and he said, 'I'm going to kill her, and I'm going to kill you, too.'

"I ran into the bedroom begging. He threw me to the floor and ran back over to her and started stabbing her," said Somers, who lives in Tampa.

"I want an explanation. I think for other people out there who have been victims of domestic violence ... there's no justice in what [Chin] ordered."

Deciding he had acted under "extreme emotional disturbance," a jury convicted Lawson of manslaughter, not murder, which would have prohibited him from ever becoming a citizen.

He then spent 13 years in prison. In 1998, he was released, and eight years later, the Jamaica national applied for U.S. citizenship.

His claim was initially rejected because of the manslaughter conviction, but Chin overruled that decision. He said the Harlem man had redeemed himself after kicking his drug and alcohol habit, getting his GED and earning his bachelor's degree.

"The manner in which he has overcome his challenges is a testament to his character," Chin wrote in his decision.

But for Somers, her stepfather's cold-blooded deed is insurmountable.

"Knowing the coward that [Lawson] is - because he is a coward - he'll never do it. He'll never apologize to my family."

"He makes me sick. It's just disgusting," said Somers. "The system is disgusting. I lost faith in this country."

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