Gay panic defence alive and well in the US. What a surprise.

Gay panic defence is offered when some heterosexual male kills a homosexual male for fear of being molested. It means, basically, that if a guy comes on to a straight guy, the straight guy is entitled to resist with lethal force.

This isn’t a situation where someone is defending themselves against forcible rape. Even I would admit that’s valid grounds for aggressive self defense. This is murder for an attempted kiss, allegedly… the dead man isn’t available to corroborate the allegations against him.

Man cleared of murder using ‘gay panic’ defence after killing neighbour who tried to kiss him

After James Miller retired from the Austin Police Department, he took up guitar, strumming the instrument at a nearby musicians’ bar, trying to put together a jazz band and getting together at the house of David Spencer, a 32-year-old neighbour and a saxophonist who shared his passion.

In September, 2015, after a night of music and drinking at Spencer’s house, Miller testified, his younger neighbour made a fatal mistake: He moved in for a kiss.

“We were playing back and forth and everything, and I just let him know – Hey, I’m not gay,” Miller, 69, said in an affidavit, according to Austin NBC-affiliate KXAN.

“We been playing. We’re musicians and all that kind of stuff, but I’m not a gay guy. Then it seemed like everything was all right, and everything was fine. When I got ready to go – it seemed like [expletive] just started happening.”

Then, he said, he pulled out a knife and stabbed Spencer two times.

I presume [expletive] = shit.

In Miller’s case the defence was successful. Jurors did not find him guilty of murder or manslaughter, and while he was convicted of criminally negligent homicide, he will not spend a day in prison.

Apparently he has a few hours of community service, a few thousand dollars restitution to his victim’s family, he has to wear an alcohol monitoring device, and he has 10 years of probation.

Now, this was a 69 year old man claiming that a guy half his age was so besotted and attracted by him that he moved in for a kiss, so he pulled out a knife and stabbed the young man to death. I find this implausible. I’ve no idea what happened here, the only one alive who does is the culprit, and I have no reason to think there’s a word of truth in his claims.

Admittedly, drink can lead to folly, but a 32-year old hitting on a 69-year old? That’s stretching it. A young man would find fresher meat in the gay bar down the road. I won’t speculate as to what actually happened, but I do think that justice wasn’t done here.

What has been done here is a jury listened to the culprit’s story, a story that has no corroboration whatsoever, taken into account that the victim was gay, and essentially let the culprit off with a slap on the wrist. If Miller had been a straight man murdering a woman he had a liaison with, the jury would not have found as it did. He would have done time for murder, not let off for “negligent homicide”. There is nothing “negligent” about stabbing someone to death.

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