Several months ago, I told you about Tony Randolph Hunter, a gay man murdered last September in Washington DC by Robert Lee Hannah. Hannah had just decided to use the Gay Panic defense, claiming that Hunter had groped him before the assault, which is disputed but obviously makes murder okay.
Yesterday, exactly one year after Hunter’s death, D.C. Superior Court Judge Rafael Diaz accepted the prosecutor’s plea agreement, reducing the charge to misdemeanor assault. From the Washington Blade:
[Chris Farris, co-chair of Gays & Lesbians Opposing Violence] said the Hunter case is one of several recent assault cases involving crimes against LGBT people where the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s office has appeared reluctant to bring the case to trial and instead sought plea bargains or dropped charges against defendants.
â€œThere seems to be a reluctance within the [the U.S. Attorneyâ€™s office] to pursue assault prosecutions involving the LGBT community because of a sense that they may have difficulty with juries in those cases,â€ Farris said.
â€œAnd I would simply remind [them] that we are on those juries too. They need to trust the juries. The juries are made up from the community and we are a part of that community.â€
And from Metro Weekly:
At the Thursday hearing, [U.S. Attorney Kevin ] Flynn asked Diaz to hold Hannah in jail until sentencing.
Defense attorney Joseph Caleb countered that Hannah is ”extremely reliable,” and that his attendance record with this case is evidence of that. Caleb also argued that Hannah would not pose a threat if free until sentencing in that, according to the defense, Hunter provoked Hannah: ”He was offended by the way [Hunter] touched him. â€¦ He had a knee-jerk reaction.”
That’s right, it’s not his fault. The fuckin’ faggot touched him.
The maximum sentence Robert Lee Hannah will face? 180 days.
That’s how much our lives are worth to the U.S. government. Six months. Half a year. Maybe. He’ll probably get less than that.
The National Equality March is scheduled for October 10-11 in Washington D.C. Let this be a reminder to all those attending to come prepared to defend yourself, because the U.S. government sure won’t.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go vomit and try to stop shaking.