Monday, May 15, 2017

Walking The Fine Line

In our quest for love we walk the fine line. If you look at trans people who have been murdered many of them were killed by people who they thought loved them.

The horrible death and mutilation of a trans women in Brisbane, Australia, in October 2014 that is going to trail is a case in point. I don’t know why it took all these year for the inquest to begin into her murder by her boyfriend.

Then here in the U.S. there was another murder of a trans woman by her boyfriend which resulted in the first case of a hate crime being prosecuted under the Mathew Sheppard, James Byrd Hate Crime Act. He killed his girlfriend because he feared that his friends would find out that he was dating a trans woman.
Man to be sentenced in anti-transgender hate crime
Detroit News
By Jeff Amy, Associated Press
May 15, 2017

Jackson, Miss. — For the first time in the U.S., a person will be sentenced on federal hate crimes charges for killing a transgender person.

Joshua Vallum is scheduled to appear before a federal judge Monday in Gulfport, Mississippi, after pleading guilty in December to hate crimes charges in the 2015 death of 17-year-old Mercedes Williamson.

U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr. could sentence Vallum to as long as life in prison without parole.

The case has been closely watched by LGBT groups nationwide, who cite studies showing transgender people are particularly likely to be victims of violent crimes. A 2009 federal hate crimes law included protections for gay and transgender people, but of the 47 people prosecuted during the period reviewed by The Associated Press, none were for offenses against transgender people.
In his defense, Vallum initially told sheriff’s deputies and later told The Sun Herald newspaper that he found out that Williamson had a penis on May 30, 2015 — moments before he killed her. He said he “blacked out” and doesn’t remember the crime, a variation of what’s known as a “gay panic” or “trans panic” defense. He declined to speak with the AP in a March letter, citing advice from his lawyer, but could talk to the judge Monday about the issue.

Prosecutors have said Vallum knew of Williamson’s transgender status long before he killed her, citing a witness in a state court proceeding who testified that Vallum and Williamson had sex multiple times while the witness was a roommate with Williamson.
Her murder saddens all of us but at least we know that he will not be out on the streets again where he can murder other people.

I am not an expert in love but I could see warning signs in relationships; you should be cautious if they don’t want to be seen in public with you and do not introduce you to their friends. These signs should send off red flares in the relationship.

We must also work to block “gay panic” or “trans panic” defense in court cases.

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