The killers of Bella Evangelista and Tony Hunter claimed at trial that they were the victims, examples of the so-called “LGBTQ panic” defense that Washington DC may soon ban. Defendants can currently use it in 39 states.
In addition to barring the panic defense’s use in court, the pro-LGBTQ+ omnibus legislation contains updated hate crime protections for the city’s 680,000 residents. According to the LGBTQ+ newspaper Washington Blade, it states that a “designated act need not solely be based on or because of an accused’s prejudice” in order to qualify as a hate crime.
The Advisory Neighborhood Commission Rainbow Caucus, a forum focused on issues affecting LGBTQ+ residents in Washington, D.C said they were “both pleased and gratified” with the legislation, in a Tuesday statement cited by the Blade.
Now This explained why “gay panic” defenses hurt the community:
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