This workshop will provide an overview of the LGBTQ+ “panic” defense and how it has been used in criminal cases to deny justice to LGBTQ+ victims of violent crime. The LGBTQ+ “panic” defense strategy is a legal strategy that asks a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for a defendant’s violent assault or murder. When a defendant uses an LGBTQ+ “panic” defense, they are claiming that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity not only explains – but excuses – their loss of self-control and the subsequent violence. Using case studies and the experiences of state legislators and LGBTQ+ activists, the panel will provide a roadmap on how to successfully convince legislators to ban the defense. To date, 13 jurisdictions have banned the defense. Join us to learn how to advance this legislation in your own state! Moderated by Wesley Bizzell.
Speakers: Jamie Grace Alexander (ACLU of Maryland); Wesley Bizzell (Altria Client Services); Monisha Harrell (Equal Rights Washington); Representative Leslie Herod (Colorado General Assembly); Lousene Hoppe (Fredrikson & Byron); Delegate Danica Roem (Virginia House of Delegates); Representative Taylor Small (Vermont House of Representatives)