Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Syracuse Jury Finds Slayer of Transwoman Guilty of Manslaughter Hate Crime

lateisha green3Syracuse, NY – In a closely watched case, a man charged with shooting an African American transgender woman to death outside a house party in November 2008 has been found guilty of anti-gay bias.  Dwight DeLee will be sentenced shortly for the murder of Lateisha Green, née Moses Cannon, a 22-year-old male-to-female transperson who commenced living as a girl at the age of 16.  Green frequently dressed in women’s clothing, but was dressed in a tee shirt and jeans on the night of her murder.  DeLee’s attorney argued that his client had no animus against LGBT people, but witnesses testified that he referred to Green as a “faggot” the evening he shot her to death with a .22 calibre pistol in her brother’s car.  The Onondaga County jury, charged by the presiding judge to consider possible conviction for murder or manslaughter with or without the hate crime charge delivered their verdict of guilty of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime in six hours of deliberations over two days.  Earlier in the summer, Allen Ray Andrade was also found guilty of the bias-motivated murder of Angie Zapata, an 18-year-old Latina transwoman in Greeley, Colorado.  Now with this second prominent conviction for anti-gay hate crime bias in the nation, the argument marshaled by conservative law enforcement agencies that hate crimes enhancements are impractical because they seldom can be proven in court is increasingly discredited.  These hate crimes convictions not only demonstrate the bankruptcy of entrenched refusals to try defendants for anti-gay bias, but they also show the acknowledgment that hate crime murders differ substantially from other sorts of murders, giving the lie to the argument that all murders are somehow on a par.  LGBT advocates have been largely successful in educating the American populace that hate crimes not only target the specific victim of the murder, but also send a message of terror to a whole class of people in affinity with the victim of the homicide. Thanks to William Kates of the Associated Press for breaking this story.

July 17, 2009 - Posted by | African Americans, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Colorado, gun violence, harassment, Hate Crimes, Law and Order, New York, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, transgender persons, transphobia | , , , , , , , ,

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