New law against the “panic” defense

The Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act was just signed – you can read it here: AB 1160. It prevents societal bias from being invoked as a defense. In other words, no “gay panic” or “trans panic” defense that say you just couldn’t help beating someone brutally to death because their genitals or their gayness freaked you out. It’s as if being a bigot gives you a free hand to kill the people you hate. WTF. So here’s a little bit of the law, which looks pretty good:

(c) “Bias” includes bias based upon the victim’s actual or
perceived disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity,
religion, or sexual orientation, or the victim’s association with a
person or group with one or more of these characteristics.
(d) It is against public policy for juries to render decisions
tainted by bias based upon the victim’s actual or perceived
disability, gender, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, or
sexual orientation, or his or her association with a person or group
with one or more of these characteristics.
(e) “Panic strategies” are those strategies that try to explain a
defendant’s actions or emotional reactions based upon the knowledge
or discovery of the fact that the victim possesses one or more of the
characteristics listed above or associates with a person or group
with one or more of the those characteristics.

I wonder what other panic strategies have been used – it’s so incredibly idiotic – And I hope that Gwen Araujo‘s murderers’ light sentences don’t stick and aren’t allowed to set a precedent. Also I just have to say how much I think it is wrong that Merel and his girlfriend got off totally free in this case.

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