This is one of those cases that'll just make you seethe with anger. A trans woman is horribly beaten in Palm Springs, Florida and the judge decides it wasn't a hate crime, but instead commented, "In many ways it appears from the testimony that was presented here that there are two victims in the case."
Two victims?!? Remind me again who had the hell beat out of them? Let's look at the facts of this case...
A teenager picks up a transwoman outside of a bar. They go to the beach and start to have sex.
Just as they were about to have sex, he says, he saw she was actually a pre-operative transsexual. She already had breast implants, but her other surgery is not scheduled until later this year.
She denies any sexual activity with the teen and has a different story. But a witness saw what happened next: The teen shouted for help, dragged her through the sand, beat her head against the lifeguard stand and punched out her front teeth.
The witness said he suggested that the boy go on home and not tell anyone. But about half an hour later, the kid returned, he said, dragging what looked to be a topless man down the beach by the hand.
He screamed that he was going to kill her and slammed the person's head against the lifeguard stand, the witness said.
The witness jumped off the tower and headed for the boardwalk. The kid came back again, he said, saying he thought he had killed someone and was going to jail. Palm Beach police pulled up right then, the witness said.
They found the victim covered in blood.
Nice of the witness to stop the beating, eh? He's a real stand-up guy too apparently... "Just go home and don't tell anyone." Bah. That part really pisses me off almost as much as the verdict!
But what happened when the case went to trial? The judge decided that this wasn't a hate crime after all.
"The teen did not seem to beat the victim because of sexual orientation, but because of his anger and desire for retribution.
"Your anger, from your perspective and from many other people's perspective, may be justifiable anger. But the act that you committed in that anger cannot be justified under our existing system of laws.
"In many ways it appears from the testimony that was presented here that there are two victims in the case."
So let's parse the judge's words here for a second. Isn't he saying, "I can see why you beat the hell out of that tranny, but with the laws we have on the books I have to punish you for it." What complete and utter bullshit. And that whole two victims part? That's what sets me over the edge.
Violence is never the solution to any problem. Would there have "two victims" if the teen had simply said, "Oh. I'm not into that. Sorry. Gotta go home now." and left? Would the transgender woman have been "justified" in shooting the punk vigilante style afterwards while the teen was on house arrest? After all, I'm sure she was angry and wanted some retribution...
So what do you think? Is this just a case of a judge with foot-in-the-mouth disease or someone that should be dismissed from the bench immediately?