Pemberton ruling draws mixed reactions online

MANILA, Philippines – Social media was set ablaze on Tuesday, December 1, as US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton was found guilty of homicide for the death of Filipino transgender woman Jennifer Laude.  

Laude was found dead on October 11, 2014 at a motel in Olongapo City, where she was last seen with Pemberton.

The US Marine has been sentenced to 6 to 12 years in prison, and ordered to pay more than P4 million in damages to the Laude family.

After the ruling, “Laude” trended on Twitter worldwide, while "Pemberton" trended in the Philippines.


'Bittersweet win'

Netizens expressed mixed reactions over the verdict. Many were taken aback by the amount of compensation the Laudes will receive, the duration of Pemberton's sentence, and the court's decision that the killing was homicide and not murder.

How to Get Away with Actual Murder: The Jennifer Laude Story — Richard Bolisay (@richardbolisay) December 1, 2015 And that's how you get away with murder. Joseph Scott Pemberton vs. Jennifer Laude case — Junnel M. (@HeyJunnn) December 1, 2015 Decision on Pemberton shld've been murder, considering he had superior strength and training plus the cruelty done on Laude. — Teddy Casiño (@teddycasino) December 1, 2015 At most, he will be released when he is 32—as a free man with a lot of life ahead of him. While Jennifer Laude's life is forever lost. — Ram (@RamuelAsturiano) December 1, 2015 "Pemberton meted 6 to 12 years for homicide in Jennifer Laude case." Out in 6 months? . — Vincent R. Pozon (@VincentPozon) December 1, 2015 Let it be known that Jennifer Laude's life costs P30,000. Trans Panic and Ignorance has won in the Philippines. #JusticeForJennifer — Kris Andres (@andreskris) December 1, 2015


'Justice served'

Some Twitter users celebrated the verdict, however.

Ang sarap pakinggan! Pemberton to 6 to 12 years for homicide in Jennifer Laude case" — Zander Alih (@ZanderAlih) December 1, 2015 Finally!! Justice is served for Jennifer Laude. ⚖ — Free Presnedi (@FreePresnedi) December 1, 2015 The Laude family did not get the murder conviction they hope for.Still justice served as Pemberton is convicted for homicide! — meriam estrella (@yam_estrella) December 1, 2015


Rappler is also getting feedback on the verdict through polls on Facebook and Twitter, with more users on both platforms agreeing with the court's decision as of this writing.

Court finds US Marine Joseph Scott Pemberton guilty of homicide in the death of Jennifer Laude. Do you agree with the ruling? Posted by Rappler on Tuesday, December 1, 2015 Court finds US Marine Pemberton guilty of homicide in the death of Jennifer Laude. Do you agree with the ruling? — Rappler (@rapplerdotcom) December 1, 2015


What do you think of the verdict in the Pemberton case? Write about it on X. – Lopez

Noel Lopez is an intern with Rappler's Social Media Team.