Deputy Public Defender William Quest, the defense attorney for Brandon McInerney, the 14 year old who shot his 15 year old gay classmate Lawrence King, has made statements intended to fuel blame against the victim.
From the Ventura Star
Quest said he believes school administrators supported one student expressing himself and his sexuality — King — and ignored how it affected other kids, despite complaints. Cross-dressing isn’t a normal thing in adult environments, he said, yet 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds were expected to just accept it and go on.
Mr. Quest is not being accurate. Other than boots and jewelry, King did not cross-dress; he wore the school uniform.
Further, Mr. Quest is not allowed to use gay panic as a defense in his case. California law does not allow it.
A.B. 1160 declares that it is against public policy for a defendant to play upon the bias of the jury, or for a jury to allow bias against the victim to enter into its decision-making.
So, other than efforts to disparage young Mr. King or to taint the jury pool, it isn’t clear what Quest is hoping to achieve by such claims. Sadly, I fear that his statements may just be the result of the common belief that gay people deserve the violence enacted against them.