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New York State banning gay/trans panic defense in murder cases

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(Image by succo from Pixabay)

ALBANY, N.Y. — New York State is in line to become the latest state to ban the use of gay or trans panic as a defense.

On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that the state assembly is on track to ban panic as a defense. It would become the seventh state to ban the practice.

From The New York Times:

Assemblyman Daniel J. O’Donnell and State Senator Brad Hoylman, both gay Democrats from Manhattan, introduced bills last weekend that would stop people charged with murder from mounting gay panic or transgender panic defenses.

On Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who proposed the measure as part of his executive budget, said in a radio interview that lawmakers in Albany had reached a deal on the bills.

The legislation is expected to pass on Wednesday, during Pride Month and just in time for the end of this year’s legislative session.

If approved, the measure would be the culmination of an effort in New York that started when Mr. Hoylman introduced a similar bill in 2014.

“I’m glad that New York is sending a message to prosecutors, to defense attorneys, juries and judges that a victim’s L.G.B.T.Q. identity can’t be weaponized,” Mr. Hoylman said in an interview on Tuesday.

Several New York-based criminal defense organizations who oppose the legislation signed a statement last week that said a ban would interfere with an accused person’s constitutional right to defend themselves.

A bill to ban it nationally was introduced in Congress in early June. Illinois has banned it since 2017.

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