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The Trans Panic Defense


Charlize

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I suspect if I read the paper, it would basically say "it is not a reasonable excuse for provocation" in a very long-winded legal thinking sort of way, and the parts about explanations to jurors come down to "here is how to tell people it is not a reasonable excuse for provocation."

It mentions the ABA move towards limiting this type of defense. I will say, as a defense attorney, I would never use it. It is unethical. Full stop.

There shouldn't be any need to educate jurors of anything, because it simply should not be used. It is not a reasonable excuse for provocation.

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Thank you for posting this info. I hope this horrible excuse is made illegal to use. It's sickening that someone even came up with it in the first place.

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Carolyn Marie

While I agree with Ravin that the defense should not be used, I am not naive enough to believe that it will not ever be. For many defense attorneys, if there is no ethical or legal reason why it shouldn't be used, and it might prove successful as a tactic, then sooner or later it will be used.

There was a time not so long ago when it was perfectly acceptable in rape trials to bring up the victim's sexual history, or to discuss what she was wearing at the time, as "provocations" that led the defendant to commit the rape. Over time, laws changed as did judicial rulings, making such tactics either unethical, illegal or both. There will come a day when the same will be true of the gay panic or trans panic defense. There may already be some states that have outlawed it, but I'm not sure.

Carolyn Marie

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It is illegal to use the defense here in California. This came about partly from a case in Ventura County where a boy who was tried as an adult killed a suspected gay/Trans* fellow student with a revolver to the base of the skull. The decedent had been flirting with his killer in an effeminate way for a couple of days. The defense hung up the jury, but the decision was 10 to 2 in favor of conviction, and a plea bargain was made on that basis. Most of the jury did not buy the defense.

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Guest clearleeraines

My two cents, Our judicial system is 200+ yrs old, It was/is a good one. 200 yrs no changes no reforms or very little. The politicians/lawers make the laws. They have learned how to use this to get elected to public office. Then they learned the wealthy would pay to get a law passed, lobbying. Now greed has a foothold. The moral majority is neither!. From big corp's and the goverment to your local city counssl!

corruption reigns, The defense, This defense was, I have very little doubt started, to defend someone of wealth! It worked, money/greed.

Our court system is swamped with crime, the system works 40+ hrs a week, cops, prosecutors, ect. They plea bargan over 90 %!

ONCE AGAIN 90%. So if you know the system, and have money, NO PROBLEM, or if you know the system and can manipulate the system i.e. file a million motions, get postponements, fire you P.D. Drag it out. They have no choice but to come at you with a DEAL! to make you go away! Just like the BAD cops and lazy prosecuters, and even worse the P.D.'S.

OUR SYSTEM IS BROKE PEOPLE!. There is no accountabilty, who questions the police? Who questions a Judge? whos got the money? I lived 3/4 of my life sheltered, a militery brat overseas, and growing up in alaska, A good life heathy life. A MANS LIFE :unsure: .

I was raised with morals "christian parents" middle class, I am not a felon or a criminal UNLESS you count my remaining silent when I saw people being screwed because they are black, poor, gay, trans, I have not seen one person with wealth get screwed, EVER!

My crime? keeping silent about it, cuz i don't want you to know about me! my drugs and boose, my sexual identity, my gender identity!

THEN IT HAPPENED TO ME !!!. The police in other nations, nations much much older than this one, with greater populations than this one, with a quarter of the crime as this one, I KNOW I'VE LIVED THERE! don't even carry guns! . . . . . . .I AM BI-SEXUAL, I AM TRAN'S, I AM WHITE, I AM POOR, I AM A ADDICT, I AM NO LONGER SILENT!!!!! :superman: eh hem! superperson.

Mx Clear Lee Raines, God Bless the usa it needs it!

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  • Forum Moderator

Just a note on this defense and what it means to me. I posted it not only because of the nasty reality of how we may be perceived but because of the danger of being attractive to a cis gendered person who is also homophobic or transphobic. I have seen several posts at Laura's asking about coming out to potential boyfriends. The fact that this defense even has been tried should emphasize how important early honesty can be. We shouldn't have this potential excuse for hate in existence but until (if) things change caution is very important. Hate, alcohol, and drugs often add up to violence. Please be careful. Wacko's do exist.

Hugs,

Charlize

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My two cents, Our judicial system is 200+ yrs old, It was/is a good one. 200 yrs no changes no reforms or very little. The politicians/lawers make the laws. They have learned how to use this to get elected to public office. Then they learned the wealthy would pay to get a law passed, lobbying. Now greed has a foothold. The moral majority is neither!. From big corp's and the goverment to your local city counssl!

corruption reigns, The defense, This defense was, I have very little doubt started, to defend someone of wealth! It worked, money/greed.

Our court system is swamped with crime, the system works 40+ hrs a week, cops, prosecutors, ect. They plea bargan over 90 %!

ONCE AGAIN 90%. So if you know the system, and have money, NO PROBLEM, or if you know the system and can manipulate the system i.e. file a million motions, get postponements, fire you P.D. Drag it out. They have no choice but to come at you with a DEAL! to make you go away! Just like the BAD cops and lazy prosecuters, and even worse the P.D.'S.

OUR SYSTEM IS BROKE PEOPLE!. There is no accountabilty, who questions the police? Who questions a Judge? whos got the money? I lived 3/4 of my life sheltered, a militery brat overseas, and growing up in alaska, A good life heathy life. A MANS LIFE :unsure: .

I was raised with morals "christian parents" middle class, I am not a felon or a criminal UNLESS you count my remaining silent when I saw people being screwed because they are black, poor, gay, trans, I have not seen one person with wealth get screwed, EVER!

My crime? keeping silent about it, cuz i don't want you to know about me! my drugs and boose, my sexual identity, my gender identity!

THEN IT HAPPENED TO ME !!!. The police in other nations, nations much much older than this one, with greater populations than this one, with a quarter of the crime as this one, I KNOW I'VE LIVED THERE! don't even carry guns! . . . . . . .I AM BI-SEXUAL, I AM TRAN'S, I AM WHITE, I AM POOR, I AM A ADDICT, I AM NO LONGER SILENT!!!!! :superman: eh hem! superperson.

Mx Clear Lee Raines, God Bless the usa it needs it!

This is not accurate in several respects. Yes, the criminal justice system needs improvement, and there are biases and imbalances, which are worse some places than others.

However, it is NOT true that the system has never been reformed. It has been many times, and continues to be.

And, while yes, there are problem people to be found in any position, from beat cops to judges, it is not true that the majority of people in these positions are not professional and don't do the best they can at it.

Even those doing the best they can often have unconscious biases which lend to something less than justice being done, and the laws themselves often structure the system in ways that do nothing about the underlying problems which contribute to crime. We criminalize things that would better be handled other ways, like homelessness and drug addiction.

When you get caught up in the criminal justice system, as either a defendant or the victim of a crime, it can seem especially unfair when you do not feel heard.

Also, plea offers many places get less favorable the longer you drag out a case and the more motions are filed, etc., the closer it gets to trial.

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While I agree with Ravin that the defense should not be used, I am not naive enough to believe that it will not ever be. For many defense attorneys, if there is no ethical or legal reason why it shouldn't be used, and it might prove successful as a tactic, then sooner or later it will be used.

There was a time not so long ago when it was perfectly acceptable in rape trials to bring up the victim's sexual history, or to discuss what she was wearing at the time, as "provocations" that led the defendant to commit the rape. Over time, laws changed as did judicial rulings, making such tactics either unethical, illegal or both. There will come a day when the same will be true of the gay panic or trans panic defense. There may already be some states that have outlawed it, but I'm not sure.

Carolyn Marie

The American Bar Association has come down on the side of "it's unethical" and argued why. Each jurisdiction makes its own decisions about that, though, and each bar. So it can take time for some places to catch up. I for one would withdraw from a case rather than assert such a defense, if a client felt that it's use was the only avenue for zealous defense.

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Guest clearleeraines

My two cents, Our judicial system is 200+ yrs old, It was/is a good one. 200 yrs no changes no reforms or very little. The politicians/lawers make the laws. They have learned how to use this to get elected to public office. Then they learned the wealthy would pay to get a law passed, lobbying. Now greed has a foothold. The moral majority is neither!. From big corp's and the goverment to your local city counssl!

corruption reigns, The defense, This defense was, I have very little doubt started, to defend someone of wealth! It worked, money/greed.

Our court system is swamped with crime, the system works 40+ hrs a week, cops, prosecutors, ect. They plea bargan over 90 %!

ONCE AGAIN 90%. So if you know the system, and have money, NO PROBLEM, or if you know the system and can manipulate the system i.e. file a million motions, get postponements, fire you P.D. Drag it out. They have no choice but to come at you with a DEAL! to make you go away! Just like the BAD cops and lazy prosecuters, and even worse the P.D.'S.

OUR SYSTEM IS BROKE PEOPLE!. There is no accountabilty, who questions the police? Who questions a Judge? whos got the money? I lived 3/4 of my life sheltered, a militery brat overseas, and growing up in alaska, A good life heathy life. A MANS LIFE :unsure: .

I was raised with morals "christian parents" middle class, I am not a felon or a criminal UNLESS you count my remaining silent when I saw people being screwed because they are black, poor, gay, trans, I have not seen one person with wealth get screwed, EVER!

My crime? keeping silent about it, cuz i don't want you to know about me! my drugs and boose, my sexual identity, my gender identity!

THEN IT HAPPENED TO ME !!!. The police in other nations, nations much much older than this one, with greater populations than this one, with a quarter of the crime as this one, I KNOW I'VE LIVED THERE! don't even carry guns! . . . . . . .I AM BI-SEXUAL, I AM TRAN'S, I AM WHITE, I AM POOR, I AM A ADDICT, I AM NO LONGER SILENT!!!!! :superman: eh hem! superperson.

Mx Clear Lee Raines, God Bless the usa it needs it!

This is not accurate in several respects. Yes, the criminal justice system needs improvement, and there are biases and imbalances, which are worse some places than others.

However, it is NOT true that the system has never been reformed. It has been many times, and continues to be.

And, while yes, there are problem people to be found in any position, from beat cops to judges, it is not true that the majority of people in these positions are not professional and don't do the best they can at it.

Even those doing the best they can often have unconscious biases which lend to something less than justice being done, and the laws themselves often structure the system in ways that do nothing about the underlying problems which contribute to crime. We criminalize things that would better be handled other ways, like homelessness and drug addiction.

When you get caught up in the criminal justice system, as either a defendant or the victim of a crime, it can seem especially unfair when you do not feel heard.

Also, plea offers many places get less favorable the longer you drag out a case and the more motions are filed, etc., the closer it gets to trial.

You Obviously have had no experience on defendant end ?. And what reform would you be referring too ?. Nothings really been done since "peel" and the police 1920 ?. They rotated the cops around because there was corruption then!. Have YOU ever been in a CA. State prison ?. Have YOU ever been homeless ?. I think the now viral video of the female student's violent attack speaks for it self. I was in the state system for just a short time and saw officer perpetrated crimes that make that video look innocent many times. ASK ANYONE WHO'S EVER HAD A NUMBER!!!. How creative are you with pepper spray and a baton ?. Tazer anyone ?. No one really has ANY idea, until it happens to you! I didn't. Put a second on the house, sell the car's, and find a "good" lawyer if you can ?. And by all means live with your video device, phone whatever, night and day and use it. Protect and serve. Honesty and integrity. Justice if you can afford it! Guilty till proven paid innocent. It ain't like tv people. Those who defend the system are Ignorant and pretentious and BRAINWASHED!. I now know what I took for granted, dos not exist!. ok thats my latest rant I feel better :)

The Clear one

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Yes, there has been reform. Important reforms have come both through judicial enforcement of constitutional law (cases like Gideon v. Wainwright and Miranda v. Arizona), and through legislation. Some reforms have been good, some not so good. 200 years ago there were basically just a handful of common law felonies most places, and the sentence for all of them was death, usually by hanging.

I don't have experience in California, but I actually went to law school and became a public defender after my husband got a raw deal with the criminal justice system. He took a plea for something he didn't do because he didn't want to risk 12 years in prison if he fought and lost, because his attorney couldn't be bothered to do her job and he didn't trust her with it. I decided to go to law school because I knew I could do better than what we saw (his PD didn't even show up to court a couple of times, never mind actually do a proper client interview or give him a good explanation of what he was up against as far as evidence and trial ability of his case).

There's a reason I said it can feel especially unfair if you feel unheard in the process. That has pretty obviously been your experience.

I very clearly stated that the system has problems. That does not mean it has not changed in 200 years. It has, and there are people continuing to fight for change to improve it, as well as more people working in it who mean well than who don't.

You are very right that it isn't like on TV.

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  • 1 month later...
Guest Clair Dufour

It should be noted that this defence is used on jury trials where the jury has much more leeway. Judges have to work with rule of law and precedence. Also, its often an excuse for the drug and sex trade gangs that many TG people find themselves involved in to survive.

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  • 3 months later...

I'm curious, what are the usually accepted causes for reasonable "heat of passion"? I personally think this wouldn't apply, because violent rage over finding out someone isn't who you thought they were? Come on now, that's not reasonable "heat of passion" in the slightest, not in my opinion at least.

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Carolyn Marie

I'm curious, what are the usually accepted causes for reasonable "heat of passion"?

A couple of examples that come to mind include: Discovering one's spouse in bed with their lover; an angry argument over whose sports team was better (only half kidding there); or a violent argument over a traffic collision.

That doesn't mean any of these reasons excuses would fly in a court of law, but they've all been tried.

Carolyn Marie

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Most "First Degree"crimes with the longest jail or even death penalty consequences require "malice aforethought" to be involved, which means a long standing hatred for their specific victim, or group of victims and they require preparation and planning to commit the crime at a specific opportunity. It is a goodly list. A legitimate defense to all of this is a Self Defense situation where you feared for your life and property and/or the life and property of another person

Trans* (Gay, LesbianPanic ) Defense is a "self defense" attempt that tries to make the victim the initial aggressor who was intent on harming the defendant in a criminal case and subjecting the defendant to great harm. The idea is that for some people, the knowledge that they had sex with a Trans* person has irreparably injured them and will forever handicap them in their community and make them targets or hatred and ridicule or even rejection from their communities. There are some areas where a man soliciting a non-trans prostitute is looked on as just a normal great guy male having fun. (To heck with his marriage.) Change the sex partner and he becomes a community outcast for being Homosexual. Pretty squirrely as you see.

By now if you are not about to make a desperate run to the toilet, you can get a picture of some really crazy ideas and misconceptions people have of Trans* people. The American Bar Association did declare that it was un-ethical for its members to use it in behalf of a client, several years ago and California added a law that makes it an illegal defense in state courts and can subject the attorney advancing it subject to discipline.

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I was not trying to get out of the detachment in fact I had a regular rotation to shore duty coming up which is 5 years sea duty and then 3 years shore for my rating and paygrade.   I was supposed to be transferring to a shore duty and my replacement was not yet at the Command.  The command because of this had asked me to reduce my transfer leave and help them through the detachment.                 I decided to go along with their request, I really liked the squadron and wanted to do right by both the Command and my Sailors and make sure that they were ready for deployment.   He told me I could always speak with the Chaplin if i needed too i agreed and then asked him if he was going to sign my reenlistment request.  He reluctantly signed it and I left.     I transferred a couple months later, and it was clear shortly after I checked in that they did not trust me around Sailors, so I had to assume the upper Chain of Command knew about me  being transgender.  Its normal to some degree to have to prove yourself to a new command however In the pervious command I had been in charge of a division, led the command through a difficult inspection were  the Command received a perfect score, it was the first perfect score for that inspection in over three years. I Know that it was in large part to the Sailors hard work, dedication and wiliness to learn that made it possible.  The commands attitude was difficult for me and I was also struggling with getting services for my youngest son who was 4 at the time and did not speak but had started making sounds. Up until that point we used sign language to communicate but we were just starting out so we only knew the basics.     I started working as the Electricians branch Chief and Flight Line Coordinator.  It was very hot that summer and I often did not wear a blouse on the flight line, and the hormones were beginning to make some changes, but I didn’t care I wasn’t afraid of being separated or discovered anymore. I switched to the night shift so i could take my son to speech therapy.  Working night check in the Navy means you come to work in the late afternoon or early evening while its still daylight hours.  One day I was on the flight line,  my blouse was off and I was walking towards my civilian counterpart who was the plane captains flight line coordinator when I heard over the radio from his civilian boss that “IT”  meaning me was coming towards him. A few other comments were made i will not repeat them here. I finished doing what I had to do and during a short break headed to the bathroom(head). Of course, he was there too, i guess with both had to go to the bathroom.  I lost it I went into one of the stalls and when I was by myself, I cried for a few minutes unfortunately I have always been a little sensitive. From then on, I did not work on the flight line without a blouse on no matter how hot it was outside.  A few months later came the infamous tweets to Ban transgender service once again. I did not even know that it had occurred until I arrived at work that day.  I was so focused on my sons, getting the oldest two to school and my youngest to speech therapy that i wasn't paying attention to anything else. I found out from the Sailors that worked for me when I arrived that day they were angry about it and supportive.                Months later still on the fence of if I should transition or not the Supreme court had decided to let the ban be put in place starting in April.  It was February 2019 and I was on detachment and my depression was worse than ever. I was on detachment and my wife had called me letting me know that the house was flooded because of a hot water line(pipe) inside the wall broke and that her and the boys were staying in a hotel.   I guess that little problem that had such an obvious solution was all it took to send me over the edge because on our final day of detachment which happened to be a day off since the detachment was complete. We were only waiting for a plane ride home the next morning.  That morning I went for my usual 4 mile run, I know I supposed to be depressed but I always find motivation to run. Afterwards I went back to room, took a shower, cleaned up and packed  my things for the trip home. After calling my wife I started drinking and that night ended  with me making the first attempt on my own life.  Medically it was not serious, emotionally that was a different story . I woke up that morning to some terribly angry fellow chiefs since I was late, and we needed to get to the air terminal for the trip home. I still do not know how to this day that no one noticed but they did not I got on the plane and slept the entire 6 hours home.  My wife met me at the terminal and she drove us to the Navy Lodge on base since the house was still unlivable. I ended up failing asleep  on the bed while trying to get my uniform off.  I did not wake up until my wife was getting the boys ready for school the next morning.                It was now May 2019 and we were still living in the hotel but were supposed to be able to move back into our house soon. I was on yet another detachment to the same place in Florida that I had been to in February.  Being stationed in California it was a bit of a trip.  Of course, I had made the mistake of not getting help, after everything that had happened the last time I tried and the fact that the ban was back, I just could not bring myself to do it plus I was not sure what would happen if i brought it up.  The one thing I did know is that I wanted to finish my career and get out of the Navy on my own terms. We had a particularly long weekend and was fool enough to go out with some other Chiefs and I drank way too much and it ultimately lead to my second attempt.     I woke up three days later. In truth it did not scare me what scared me was causing harm to my wife and kids that the last thing I wanted to do. Eventually though those thoughts came back but this time I did not act.  It was super bowl Sunday and as per usual I was on detachment this time to El Centro California.  I forced myself to reach out and decided using the Veterans crisis text line was my best option. I texted with the woman on the other end of the line for over two hours.  I immediately felt some of load lifted away and that kept me going for some time afterwards.  Then of course, COVID arrived on the scene and I was about to start terminal leave and I was officially retiring. I had no doubt it was time  to put my boots in closet and take the uniform off because of when I decided it was time the year prior.  I did not get selected for Senior Chief all I felt was relief to not have to decide on weather or not to accept the promotion and give three more years or  go ahead and retire.                Many things have occurred since then,  I  had separated and things were not getting better, so I took a leap of faith and reached out to the VA. I was pleasantly surprised when there was no judgement and though it took a while for me to get connected to a therapist and the intake was grueling it has proven to be worth it. I still have work to do but now for the first time in three years I can see a future with me in it.  I decided to write this partly because of President Biden rescinding the transgender service ban and to offer hope to someone else that might need it, to remind them they matter, and things can and do get better. I know life is not easy sometimes, it can be downright difficult to just get out of bed when your depressed and in the middle of the storm.  The only advice I can offer is just keep going learn from my mistakes and your own after all  we are only human.  Forgive yourself your worth it, reach out and ask for help when you need it if at all possible don't wait for things to become overwhelming. We very seldom get a second chance let alone a third one. I am eternally grateful that God spared me and I fully intend to make the most of that opportunity.  With an event of such significance the reversal of the transgender military service ban please show your support by sharing your story with those that intend to serve, and active duty military members.  We are living proof that things can and do get better we just have to keep going and pushing for progress. Thanks for reading this exceptionally long post.  For those that have served Thank you for both your service and your sacrifice, have a blessed day.                                                                              Jamie
    • Vanessa Michelle
      Dang girls! Y'all are high class, rockin' DKNY, Macy's etc. 😲. Nice! Lookin' great, all of you! ❤️
    • Vanessa Michelle
      Hi @BillieB and welcome to the group!! Tall is just fine! I was always told growing up in the 80's that California girls were tall so hey! Thanks for sharing with us and I hope you feel the love here. I too am here thanks to Jackie Rabbit @jae bear She's awesome!! ❤️
    • Sarahtoraven
      Welcome aboard Colin! BTW, that is a great looking Thor's hammer that you wore on your guy pic. I own a couple of those too!   Hugs,   Raven
    • RobynNYC
      These are actually pretty helpful, thanks!   im mostly worried about how my son would react to gaining another mom. Did your relationship with the remaining grandson change much?   thanks!      
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