Thursday, April 23, 2009

Colorado Court gives life sentence and hate crime charge to murderer of transgender woman

I've been reading Pam's House Blend everyday and have been reading posts by transgender author Autumn Sandeen, who was reporting and analyzing the Colorado murder trial for transgender victim, Angie Zapata. Today, her murderer Andrade, got life without parole AND was charged with bias-motivation in his murder (ie hate crime).

So the judge and jury rejected the defense's strategy of trying to claim that the murderer "panicked" when he found out Angie's true gender identity. They tried to use this defense as a kind of "crime of passion" argument. But the murder happened HOURS after he learned of her identity, so premeditation, not passion, was definitely in his motives.

And to remind social conservatives who ask "why should his thoughts matter?", I would remind you that motive already matters in the decisions between first, second degree murder, manslaughter, premeditation, crime of passion. These long-existing, motive-relevant categories did not originate with the gay rights movement. Do not tell me that criminal motive does not matter in the courtroom. That is legally fallacious.

Anyway, a shithead governor proves why we need hate crime laws: He called efforts to end discrimination "garbage"

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