Gwen Araujo murder – verdicts upheld on appeal

May 15, 2009

Gwen Araujo (image via San Francisco Chronicle)The trials following the brutal and cold-blooded murder of Gwen Araujo in 2002, in which the accused attempted to utilise the trans panic defence, became something of a rallying point for trans and LGB communities as well as receiving a huge amount of media coverage and debate.

Nearly seven years later, an appeal for a reduction of their sentences by two of her murderers, Michael Magidson and Jose Merel, still trying to use the trans panic defence, has been unanimously rejected by the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco.

Deputy District Attorney Chris Lamiero, the prosecutor, said the case should stand for the principle that a crime is not reduced from murder to manslaughter “simply because the victim was transgender.”

(Via the San Francisco Chroniclelink here)

Mr Magidson, apparently still unwilling to take responsibility for a murder of which he has been jointly convicted, has said that he will now appeal to the state Supreme Court.

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Note: There are two useful pieces discussing the trans panic defense:

  • This link via Holly in comments at Feministe and,
  • This link (Banning the trans panic defense) by Dr Jillian T. Weiss at The Bilerico Project
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