Friday, July 22, 2011

Trial Watch: Prosecutor Asks Jury To Disregard King's Orientation

As previously reported, the defense for Brandon McInerney is attempting to paint the defendant as a victim of sexual harassment on the part of the slain Lawrence King.  Broadly referred to as the "gay panic" defense, McInerney's lawyers are hoping to downgrade his charge to voluntary manslaughter with the excuse that shooting King was a crime of passion perpetrated by a humiliated and harassed teenager.

I personally find that defense disgusting.  Just because I hit on a straight man is no reason to end my life.

The prosecution is attempting to use laws enacted since the murder of Gwen Araujo, in which her killers won a mistrial after the panic defense was used.  The statutes prevent the gay panic defense from being used.

"Ventura County Senior Deputy Dist. Atty. Maeve Fox this week said she would invoke the Araujo law when the case is sent to the jury, asking that the panel of nine women and three men be instructed not to let biases toward the victim's sexual identity influence their deliberations.

"Legislators and advocacy groups that pushed hard to see the law passed say they are gratified to see the jury instruction invoked.

"'We can't restrict the free speech rights of the defense and the ability of a defendant to mount their defense,' said Sally Lieber, the former assemblywoman who wrote the Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act. 'But the judge should instruct juries that a person's gender or sexual ID is not an invitation to assault or murder.'

I hope this gross defense falls flat.

1 comment:

  1. Even IF the gay panic argument is pushed forward, and allowed to get traction...they still have to prove that it is rational and understandable for someone to shoot someone who "harasses" them point blank in the head twice. If this were a girl he were uninterested in, I seriously doubt we'd be having this conversation, because one doesn't put down girls with harmless crushes.