Springfield, OR

Should 1998 Thurston High School shooter Kip Kinkel be let out of prison? His sister thinks so

Robbie Newport
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Kip KinkelPhoto byen.wikipedia.org

We learn some interesting things from an Oregon Live article written on Nov. 28 by Maxine Bernstein, such as Kristin Kinkel, the older sister of Kip Kinkel, the 1998 Thurston High School shooter, explaining why she thinks her brother should be let out of prison.

We learn Kristin remains a loving sister to a brother who killed both of their parents and two people at his high school while injuring two dozen others on May 21, 1998, mostly, because she believes his then untreated mental illness (paranoid schizophrenia diagnosis) and youth (he was only 15 years old when committed the murders and shooting) were to blame.

The article explains that Kip Kinkel himself has deep regret and remorse over the irreparable damage he did that day to those he killed/injured and their families. He is now 41 years old and serving a 112-year sentence at Oregon State Correctional Institutions in Salem. Kristin considers Kip her best friend and she is his lifeline according to Kip. She is determined to fight for him to be released for her entire life, as it gives them something to hope for and she believes his place is “at home.”

The article explains she reached out to The New Yorker for an interview to bring some attention to a cause she believes is worthy, that is, getting her brother released early. Kip has already lost multiple appeals, has been turned down for a review hearing by the state parole board, and was not considered for clemency with others convicted as juveniles. He also didn’t qualify for commutation from former Gov. Brown, who pardoned or commuted nearly 50,000 sentences during her tenure.

While it is refreshing to see the loyalty and love Kip’s older sister has toward him, it is also asking a difficult question to the public, especially those harmed by his actions.

Would it be right to let Kip out of prison before he dies of old age in there or not?

Remember, four people are no longer alive who likely still would be alive if Kip hadn’t shot them 25 years ago. They paid the ultimate penalty and were innocent, shouldn’t Kip pay the penalty when he is guilty? At least he isn’t under the death penalty, which many would argue is justified. Will be interesting to see what the public's reaction to their cause will be.


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Write about local events, social issues, crime, attractions, and more. Live in Eastern Oregon with my wife. Writer, blogger, greenskeeper, Christian, and truth seeker.

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