Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Trans hate crime is "justifiable"?

Filed by: Bil Browning
Jhis is one of those cases that'll just make you seethe with anger. A trans woman is horribly beaten in Palm Springs, Florida and the judge decides it wasn't a hate crime, but instead commented, "In many ways it appears from the testimony that was presented here that there are two victims in the case."
Two victims?!? Remind me again who had the hell beat out of them? Let's look at
the facts of this case...

A teenager picks up a transwoman outside of a bar. They go to the beach and start to have sex.
Just as they were about to have sex, he says, he saw she was actually a pre-operative transsexual. She already had breast implants, but her other surgery is not scheduled until later this year.
She denies any sexual activity with the teen and has a different story. But a witness saw what happened next: The teen shouted for help, dragged her through the sand, beat her head against the lifeguard stand and punched out her front teeth....The witness said he suggested that the boy go on home and not tell anyone. But about half an hour later, the kid returned, he said, dragging what looked to be a topless man down the beach by the hand.
He screamed that he was going to kill her and slammed the person's head against the lifeguard stand, the witness said.
The witness jumped off the tower and headed for the boardwalk. The kid came back again, he said, saying he thought he had killed someone and was going to jail. Palm Beach police pulled up right then, the witness said.
They found the victim covered in blood.
Nice of the witness to stop the beating, eh? He's a real stand-up guy too apparently... "Just go home and don't tell anyone." Bah. That part really pisses me off almost as much as the verdict!
what happened when the case went to trial? The judge decided that this wasn't a hate crime after all.
"The teen did not seem to beat the victim because of sexual orientation, but because of his anger and desire for retribution.
"Your anger, from your perspective and from many other people's perspective, may be justifiable anger. But the act that you committed in that anger cannot be justified under our existing system of laws...."In many ways it appears from the testimony that was presented here that there are two victims in the case."
So let's parse the judge's words here for a second. Isn't he saying, "I can see why you beat the hell out of that tranny, but with the laws we have on the books I have to punish you for it." What complete and utter bullshit. And that whole two victims part? That's what sets me over the edge.
Violence is never the solution to any problem. Would there have "two victims" if the teen had simply said, "Oh. I'm not into that. Sorry. Gotta go home now." and left? Would the transgender woman have been "justified" in shooting the punk vigilante style afterwards while the teen was on house arrest? After all, I'm sure she was angry and wanted some retribution...
So what do you think? Is this just a case of a judge with foot-in-the-mouth disease or someone that should be dismissed from the bench immediately?

1 comment:

Seth Patinkin said...

Dear Oprah,

I am writing to you about discrimination which has been expressed by the selective enforcement of city ordinances against me with respect to my rental business in Southern Indiana once city officials discovered that I am a Jewish person.

More about me: I was named to the "30 under 30" list by my alma mater and did my PhD work at Princeton Univ. under John Nash. I am a applied mathematician/ entrepreneur in my day job.

In the years since I completed my undergraduate work at IU in 1998, I proceeded to buy a small number of rental properties in Bloomington, Indiana, which I have successfully run as a side business for a number of years.

However, about 2-3 years ago, the normal flow of my side rental business ran into some serious roadblocks.

It started when two housing inspectors made a number of explicit anti-semitic statements to me and to a Jewish tenant at one of my rentals.

Soon thereafter, four (4) groups of my otherwise law-abiding and happy tenants were threatened with $10,000 + fine (assessed PER tenant) for alleged ordinance violations.

Long story short, I was soon stuck with numerous vacancies and left paying the mortgage payments on these properties which were subsequently burglarized and vandalized. At the same time, the Housing Department caused complaint inspections to take place at these properties, identifying dozens and dozens of "defects" in the properties not otherwise noted in previous move-in inspections and causing me to incur thousands of dollars of needless "improvements".

And then the Legal Department went to work on me, filing at least five (5) lawsuits against me for alleged ordinance violations, and at the same time, the Legal Department Chief's wife, over at Student Legal Services, encouraged my erstwhile tenants to sue me for recovery of their security deposits, in spite of their breaches. I was soon dealing with about ten lawsuits at once.

So in April 2007, I filed a lawsuit against the City of Bloomington for violating my right to equal protection of the law, and a number of other civil rights violations. For reasons unbeknownst to me, I have become of the despotism of city government in small town Indiana. My attorneys have recently discovered that my case is not unique. Another Jewish landlord also has a case pending in federal court against the City, regarding the improper withholding of a building permit based upon the impermissible consideration that the prospective buyer of the commercial property in question was a Jewish investor from New York.

My life has been turned upside down by the systematic abuse of ordinances and
judicial proceedings. I find it outrageous that such a negative spirit still thrives in modern America. I would love the opportunity to talk about my story on your show, as I think it is in the public interest.

Seth Patinkin