Thursday, July 20, 2006
From sfgate.com: This week, prosecutors and law enforcement officials from across the nation, including Boalt Hall School of Law at UC Berkeley CrimProf Angela Harris, will gather in San Francisco to discuss strategies to counter the "gay panic" or "transgender panic" defenses used in courtrooms to gain acquittals or reduced punishments for violent crimes.
Prosecutors and legal experts define gay or transgender panic as when a person is provoked to violent action against another person after learning the other person's sexual orientation or gender identity. Such provocation is used as an argument for justification of the action or for lessening the punishment for the action.
"The standard for these kinds of cases has been 'Would a reasonable person react that way?' " said Harris, who will speak at the conference. "Our culture being a very sexist and homophobic culture has said 'yes,' but now I think people are starting to say that's not where our culture is anymore."
Rest of Article. . . [Mark Godsey]