Friday, April 17, 2009

Blame The Victim: Angie Zapata Edition

The defense in this case makes me sick.

But an attorney for Allen Andrade said the case is about the woman's deception and Andrade's reaction to that deception, not whether Angie Zapata's lifestyle was right or wrong.

"This girl that he had just spent the last day with, was in fact a man, and Allen snapped," defense attorney Bradley Martin declared in opening statements.

Oh yes, the "trans-panic" defense (a variation on what's been used to justify beating GLBT people to death for years) It's the most intellectually vacuous excuse making I've ever seen - especially when it's murder.

Accusing the victim of "deception" hardly justifies a murderous response under any circumstances. If you are so fragile that learning someone is transgender is a threat to you equivalent to having a gun pointed at you, then perhaps you shouldn't be trying to date people yet.

The defense argument is ridiculous and offensive. To accuse a transsexual of being "deceitful" for living their life is beyond offensive, it demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of the transition process itself, and the WPATH standards of care which clearly obliges the transitioning person to live at least a full year in their chosen gender before they are candidates for Gender Reassignment Surgery.

Nieto showed jurors partial transcripts of tape-recorded jail calls in which Andrade allegedly told his girlfriend that he "snapped" and that "gay things need to die."

In another transcript, Andrade downplays the slaying. "It's not like I went up to a school teacher and shot her in the head, or killed a straight law-abiding citizen," he said in the transcript.

Martin said the jail calls were taken out of context as Andrade joked with his girlfriend about a crime he knew he didn't commit.

"Taken out of context" - ah yes, the excuse of politicians everywhere. In this case, the excuse of a murderer trying to justify to himself his own actions.

Let me be very, very clear here. Murder is murder. You cannot justify it based on some ridiculous excuse like "I panicked because she was transsexual". There is no way that someone being transsexual poses that much of a threat to anybody.

If the judge allows this defense to prevail, it will be open season on transsexuals across America. Sadly, this kind of defense is being used because it has been successful before - when it had no right to be.


Erica Renee said...

As a transsexual woman in Denver, Colorado it is so hard to comprehend how anyone can defend a person with such malice and hatred. Androtti's attorneys must have left their morality and values behind when they took the bar exam. Angie was a beautiful woman only just beginning her life. She was loved by her family and friends. Murder is murder, there are no extenuating circumstances and the victim's gender status is no excuse for anyone to destroy her life.

MgS said...

In fairness to the lawyer for the defense, it is his role to give his client the best possible defense he can.

It is a sad statement that he feels a 'blame the victim' defense is the best he can do.

Anonymous said...

are you people kidding me. If I spent the day with someone and engaged in sexual activity with them only to find out that they lied to me and that they were a member of the same sex, I probably would have snapped as well. It is still murder, but it's more a crim of passion. A heat of the moment crime, that he should get murder 2 for. He didn't kill HIM because he was transgender, he killed HIM because HE lied to him and he snapped. As for comment moderation being enabled, that just tells me that views and ideas that don't fall in line with the blog auther probably wont be posted, because this is probably not a truely open discussion. I’m not anti gay, I’m anti deception.

MgS said...

Anonymous Coward:

There's evidence that the accused attended traffic court with Ms. Zapata, where her male name was used repeatedly.

Second, beating someone to death because they are trans is a hate crime. Calling this a crime of passion is excusing someone for failing completely to use the brains they were born with.

Angie Zapata was no more a man than you are a woman. She crossed that line years before she had met her murderer. If you wish to post further on this blog, you will use correct pronouns for her.

Lastly, if you are so insecure about yourself that meeting a transwoman is "deceit" in your world, I hope you are demanding chromosome tests from prospective lovers.

Erica Renee said...

I'm quite surprised that the person named anonymous is so vehement in the statement that's been made. The deceit would have been for Angie to pretend to be male. Anonymous claims to be not anti-gay? Angie Zapata was not gay. Anti-lie? What lie was stated? Angie presented herself as she was. It was Andrade's lust that blinded him, as it does most men, with little regard for the person they lust after. Slam-bam, see you later ma'am. A death sentence would be too little, too late for the likes of Andrade. On the other hand, maybe when he's in prison he can become miss andrade to bubba his cell mate.