July 20, 2018

Gay Panic Defense Excuses Did Not Prevent The Needle to End His Life For Killing a Gay Young man




Robert Van Hook, 58, was executed by lethal injection today in Ohio for the brutal 1985 murder of gay man David Self.
The state of Ohio today executed Robert Van Hook, 58, convicted of killing David Self in 1985, who earlier this year tried to use the gay panic defense to escape the death penalty, according to a report by LGBTQ Nation.
Van Hook died by lethal injection at 10 a.m. today (Wednesday, July 18). He is the 56th person sentenced to death in Ohio since the state legalized the death penalty in 1999.
David Self was 25 when he was murdered by Robert Van Hook in 1985. Read this tribute to David, written in August 2014 by his close friend, Troy Lynch.
Van Hook never claimed he did not kill Self, but that he had a difficult childhood that included sexual abuse and undiagnosed mental illness. He tried for years to get his sentenced overturned by claiming that his trial lawyers were incompetent, and earlier this year he begged the Ohio Parole Board for clemency, telling board members that he had been suffering from a post-traumatic stress disorder and snapped when Self-made sexual advances toward him.
Nobody bought it. The Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office called Van Hook’s claim “cynical,” writing in a filing that referred to Van Hook’s admission that he had been robbing gay men since he was 15 that he “posed as a gay; he frequented bars that were gay and he preyed on vulnerable victims who were gay.”
Van Hook met Self, then 25, in a gay bar in Cincinnati and after talking for a few hours, the two went back to Self’s apartment. Once they were there, Van Hook strangled self, then stabbed him several times in the neck before cutting open his abdomen and stabbing his internal organs.
When Self was found by a neighbor, he had been nearly disemboweled and Van Hook had left a cigarette butt and a paring knife in his abdominal cavity. Van Hook then stole a leather jacket and some necklaces and fled to Florida where he was arrested and then confessed to the murder.

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