New York to ban 'gay panic' defence in murder cases

The outrageous defence has been used as early as the 1960s


Words: Steve Brown

New York is set to ban the outrageous ‘gay panic’ defence in murder cases.

Since the 1960s, lawyers have introduced the idea that people accused of crimes against the LGBTQ community justified their actions through the legal strategy known as the ‘gay’ or ‘transgender panic’.

Although the New York Times report the defence was not always effective, it has still been used in recent years in a bid to win the jury’s sympathy and give the defendant a shorter sentence.

However, today (June 19), New York lawmakers are expected to ban the practice and will be the seventh legislature to ban the defence and fourth to do so this year, if approved.

The bill was introduced by Democrat assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell and State Senator Brad Hoylman – both gay.

Governor Andrew M Cuomo said this week that lawmakers in Albany had reached a deal on bills and the bill is expected to pass today (June 19).