Friday, July 21, 2006

Gay Panic! At The Disco!

Posted by codemorse


Prosecutors said Thursday they want to limit the use of "gay panic" defenses -- where defendants claim their crimes were justified because of fear or anger over their victims' sexual orientation.

"The suggestion that criminal conduct is mitigated by bias or prejudice is inappropriate," said San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris, who organized a two-day national conference on the issue. "We can't outlaw it, but we can combat it."

...It was prompted by the murder of 17-year-old Gwen Araujo, a transgender teenager who was beaten and strangled in 2002 after two men with whom she'd had anal sex learned she was biologically male.

At Thursday's conference, the prosecutor who won second-degree murder verdicts in that case agreed expressed skepticism that new laws are the answer.

"Gwen being transgender was not a provocative act. It's who she was," said Alameda County Assistant District Attorney Chris Lamiero.

"However, I would not further ignore the reality that Gwen made some decisions in her relation with these defendants that were impossible to defend," he added. "I don't think most jurors are going to think it's OK to engage someone in sexual activity knowing they assume you have one sexual anatomy when you don't."

Funny. If I were a juror, I'd be more interested in how two men manage to have anal sex with someone without, y'know, checking under the hood first.

I'm simply shocked that this defense exists at all. It would seem to me to remove significant responsibility for sexual activity and any resulting violence from the assailant's hands.

Defense: "I'm sorry I beat that kid to death with a tire-iron. I am. But he should have told me he was gay before he let me take him up the rear!"

Translated: "Someone should tell me that water on a stove is hot before I'm allowed to rush in, willy-nilly, and stick my fingers in!"


At 1:03 PM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

Just a question, if the person was transgender wouldn't this negate the effectiveness of "checking under the hood" first? And yeah the idea of that as a defense is pretty stupid, to say the least.

At 1:29 PM, Blogger codemorse said...

Possibly, depending on the extent of the surgery/enhancements/whatever.

But if it's a case of there being no discernable physical difference, then I'm not sure why "gay panic" would even count as a defense anyway.

At 2:33 PM, Blogger Scott Roche said...

My point eggs-actly.


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