Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Gay Person Can Commit A Hate Crime

An admission that you're secretly gay doesn't mean you can't target someone for a crime because they are gay. Michael Sandy is dead and was lured to his death scene because he was gay. The prosecutor sums up what happened:

“He was preyed upon by four young men who decided to rob him,” Assistant District Attorney Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi said in her opening statement. By her account, Mr. Fortunato found and contacted Mr. Sandy through a gay Web site.

“In his words,” Ms. Nicolazzi said, “ ‘The gay guys would always come, and it would be easy.’ ”

The lawyer of the defendant in question sums up... well I'm not sure exactly what this is supposed to mean, but it sure is ugly:

Mr. Fortunato’s lawyer made much the same argument, adding a twist by declaring his client’s homosexuality. Outside the courtroom, he sought to explain his theory, to a certain extent.

Mr. Fortunato, he said, might have planned to smoke marijuana with Mr. Sandy as a means of testing his friends’ sentiments about homosexuality. Or, he said, perhaps Mr. Fortunato had wanted to swindle a gay man, to see how his friends reacted to a gay person. Or, he said, perhaps Mr. Fortunato had simply wanted to rob somebody.

Beyond that, Mr. Di Chiara kept the defense strategy to himself. Asked how all this would help his case, he said, “You got to read the whole book.”

More on Michael's murder here.