Author Topic: N.Y., Calif. target "gay panic" defense  (Read 1776 times)

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N.Y., Calif. target "gay panic" defense
« on: July 09, 2006, 11:34:31 am »

Lawmakers in California and New York are looking for ways to discourage the "gay panic" defense in criminal courts, an ugly phenomenon that may be impossible to eradicate through legislation.

One thing they can do is to declare that the state's public policy frowns on the use of prejudice as a tool to influence juries. Both the California and New York proposals oblige criminal courts to read specific jury instructions, ordering the panel to avoid making decisions on the basis of bias against victims or witnesses.

Offline Dennis

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Re: N.Y., Calif. target "gay panic" defense
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2006, 11:36:34 am »
It's about time. I used it once in defence of a straight client who stabbed another straight guy. I used the illegitimacy of the gay panic defence to defend a sentence I was seeking for my client. Said, basically, there should be no difference between these cases. If the gay-basher got a light sentence, so should my guy.

Judge agreed with me.



Re: N.Y., Calif. target "gay panic" defense
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2006, 03:31:37 pm »
Sometimes, I really can't understand the depth of that stereotypical male homophobia. Somehow, it seems like many people take anything that could even possibly be taken as homosexual as a threat to their very masculinity. Literally acting as if it would make them less of a man, especially in the eyes of others.

I can't help but feel there is so much that is incredibly wrong with the very nature of society, or the traditional notions of masculinity.