Showing posts with label Gay Panic Defense. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Panic Defense. Show all posts

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.

May 25, 2017

There is No Gay Panic (scientists) but You Most Have known

Homophobic men are no more innately stressed out by seeing men kissing than tolerant men are.
May 23, 2017
The visceral and violent reaction to displays of gay affection dubbed ''gay panic'' has no basis in biology, scientists have found.
Gay panic has been used as a defence in cases of hate crimes against LGBTQ people. It's described as a momentary insanity when someone flies into a rage at seeing romantic or sexual behaviour between men. The defence has been used repeatedly in criminal cases, albeit mostly unsuccessfully.
"These men [who commit attacks] argue that it's out of their control and that it's something completely innate. It's likened to reverting to a natural fight-or-flight defence mode because they've seen something dangerous," Karen Blair, a researcher at St Francis Xavier University in Canada, told IBTimes UK.
But homophobic men have a stress reaction no different to men who are neutral towards gay relationships when they view pictures of men kissing, according to Blair's research, published in the journal Psychology and Sexuality.
Blair and her colleagues decided to test whether there was a biological response that could be called a ''gay panic'' state. They tested the saliva of about 120 men in Utah for a stress response while watching a slideshow of images. Some of the images showed men and women kissing, some showed men kissing other men, some were neutral everyday things like paperclips, and some were disgusting things, like maggots.
They tested amount of salivary alpha-amylase – a digestive enzyme linked to stress – while the men were viewing the images. The levels in people who tolerated gay relationships were the same as those who were found to hold homophobic views.

"This blows a big hole in that argument that people who react very violently to same-sex public displays of affection are somehow not in control," Blair said.
"There is no difference in the stress response based on attitudes. So it doesn't make sense to say that those people who are reacting violently are doing so because of some biological response."
However, the levels of salivary alpha-amylase were higher across all groups of men – homophobic and tolerant – than when viewing the neutral images. This could be due to internalised homophobia even among men who are accepting of gay relationships, Blair said.
"Perhaps this is a sign of some of this historic social conditioning that has been taking place. We have been raised for generations to believe that homosexuality is wrong and that it is disgusting. That is built into the internalised homophobia that gay people have themselves," she added.
"So perhaps what this is pointing to is that we are still physiologically experiencing a disgust response, regardless of our views."
Further research will be necessary to see if the results can be replicated with a larger sample. The approach also has yet to be tested in non-Americans. But the evidence that aggressive homophobia is not driven by an innate biological response offers hope, Blair said, and could spur on interventions to reduce such behaviour.

In the heart of hearts we most have all known there is no such thing as 'a reaction to create panic and harm others when confronted with a gay person.' It was invented by a clever lawyer trying to get his client off for killing a gay man because he thought he was going to get propositioned and therefore he momentarily lost his mind realizing that he too might be gay. It takes some heavy lifting to come up with that one. The lawyer did get the murder charges reduced.

March 21, 2017

Australia Abolishes ‘Gay Panic Defense'

Lawmakers in Queensland, Australia, have passed legislation that removes a controversial "gay panic" defense from the state's criminal code. 
The code previously enabled the measure to be used as a partial defense to murder if an unwanted sexual advance had been made toward the accused. 
It was most famously used in 2008 when 45-year-old Wayne Ruks was killed by two men, Jason Pearce and Richard Meerdink, who claimed Ruks made advances at one of them. 
Murder charges were reduced to manslaughter as a result, despite Ruks' family disputing any notion that he was gay at the time.  Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D'Ath said removing the defense had addressed an unacceptable inequality. 
"Queensland's criminal code must not be seen to condone violence against the gay community, or indeed any community," D'Ath said in a statement released Tuesday. 
"The passing of this legislation sends an important message that discrimination is not acceptable and that we value the LBGTI community." 
Ruks was found dead in the churchyard of Father Paul Kelly, a Catholic priest who subsequently led a campaign to have the law changed. 
"After five years of relentlessly campaigning for the gay panic defense for murder to be scrapped from the legal books in Queensland, I can today breathe a sigh of relief and accomplishment," Kelly said. 
Kelly started a petition that racked up 290,000 signatures and told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper in 2011 that the law was a “homophobic, demeaning, dangerous insult" to gay people. 
He added that it "allows killers to walk away with paltry sentences"  Wayne Ruks' mother, Joyce Kujala, said she had waited a long time for the change in the law. 
“It can't bring Wayne back, but it's some small justice, and it could save a lot of lives in future," Kujala said.

October 1, 2014

California Outlaws ‘Gay Panic' Defense

 8 yrs old killed by mom “gay panic’ she thought he was gay

[JURIST] California Governor Jerry Brown [official website] on Saturday signed into law a bill [AB 2501 text], prohibiting the so-called "gay panic" defense that has been used to reduce homicide charges to manslaughter. The defense has been used by defendants who claimed that they were "panicked" into committing a crime due to a homosexual individual making an advance on them. Recently the defense has even been used in cases involving transgender individuals. The bill, which will make California the first state to outright ban the defense, was passed by the California State Assembly [official website] by a vote of 50-10. The bill was sponsored by assemblywoman Susan Bonilla [official website], who says that these types of legal defenses make violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people appear to garner a less severe punishment.
California has been at the forefront of legislation regarding LGBT rights. In July Brown signed into law [JURIST report] a bill that will change the language in California's marriage code to accommodate same-sex couples. Last August the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld California's law [JURIST report] prohibiting licensed therapists from counseling minors with the intent to convert their sexual orientation from gay to straight. Also in August the Supreme Court of California ended the last legal challenge [JURIST report] to same-sex marriage in the state by refusing to revive Proposition 8, the state's now-defunct law banning same-sex marriage. The previous month, San Diego County petitioned [JURIST report] California’s supreme court seeking to require certain county clerks to enforce Prop 8, arguing that the US Supreme Court's June 2013decision [JURIST report] upholding the repeal of Prop 8 only applied to two of the state's 58 counties. 

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