February 04, 2006

Great News

An end to "transgender panic" and "gay panic" as defenses for murder happened yesterday (Friday) in CA, though the passing of a bill.

This is a huge change and I think a really important one, since "transgender panic" and "gay panic" both seem to me to be horrible defenses against accusations of committing a crime.

It is important to understand that this is a moderate step. Now, juries will not be given instructions to include an analysis of "transgender panic" or "gay panic" in their deliberations, but jurists may still be making decisions using their own prejudice and how they may feel it was reasonable to react to a "surprise" in the bedroom, a bar, or elsewhere.

Regardless, this is a huge change. I read about it here but if anyone has a more complete story of what happened that they know how to find, please comment.

Finally, I want to ask everyone, do you think taking these out of the jury instructions is enough? Will it have any effect at all?

3 comments:

Datura said...
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Datura said...

Let's hope the CA senate approves it! They've about 2/3 Democrat and 1/3 Republican, but I still have my doubts . . . Beleive me, most of CA is not as liberal as most people picture it. CA is, however, the state with the most ptotective laws for trandgenders.

But I too, must wonder what effect this will really have on the jury. Still, it's a great step forward.

imagineme&you said...

Hurrah!

For a pop-culture infusion into a serious subject: Did anyone see the L&O:SVU episode about 'gay panic' defenses? it was pretty frightening. Same one that kept up the rumor about a super-strain of HIV/AIDS. It was disturbing. At least it raised awareness slightly. Sadly, more people probably know about the defense because of SVU than because of this momentous bill.