Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This Old Thing? Why, It's Just The Gay Panic Defense!

The trial of Brandon McInerney begins this week more than 3 years after the brutal shooting that cost fellow classmate Larry King's life.  The high-profile case which sparked outrage nationwide (and prompted Ellen to make a tearful plea for sanity on her show) has been in legal hell in the intervening time, leaving some to wonder if Larry King's murderer would ever really come to justice.

His defense team hopes not, deciding to pull out the tried-and-true "gay panic" defense, trying for a downgrade to voluntary manslaughter.  The "gay panic" essentially says that a criminal can't entirely be blamed for their insane actions; being hit on by a gay person can be so offensive that it might be understandable why someone would shoot their admirer.  The LA Times:

"McInerney's lawyers, Scott Wippert and Robyn Bramson, say their client doesn't deny the killing. But they argue it was voluntary manslaughter because the adolescent was provoked by King's repeated sexual advances.

"Fellow students say the two had clashed for days over King's expressing his attraction to McInerney. King, who was living in a children's shelter because of problems at home, had recently gone to school wearing eye makeup and women's accessories.

"McInerney was humiliated by King's advances, his attorneys said. He came from a violent home and decided to end his misery in a way that made sense to him — with a gun. He shot King 'in the heat of passion caused by the intense emotional state between these two boys at school,' Bramson said last week outside the courthouse, where jury selection was underway."

It was okay, because Larry was totally a sexual predator.

Supposedly, this disgusting attempt to excuse the murder of a young boy is going to involve painting King's advances as predatory.  I cannot believe that this ridiculous defense is still in use.  The idea that someone can explain away committing murder by saying "he's gay and he hit on me!" is outrageous.  

1 comment:

  1. Uh, yeah... He wasn't just carrying the gun around at school. Which means he had plenty of time between being hit on (oh, the horror) and pulling that trigger. Panic? They are so pulling that out of their asses.