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August 22nd, 2009

Lateisha Green Sentencing

Governor Paterson issued the following statement in response to the sentencing of Dwight R. Delee, who was convicted of a fatal bias-crime against Lateisha Green, an African-American transgender woman:

“Yesterday’s sentencing of the man who shot and killed Lateisha Green last November brings little solace to her family and friends, and I wish that no one would ever have to experience losing someone so young. But this sentence -- the first of its kind in New York State -- shows that violence against transgender people and other hate crimes will carry stiffer penalties. Violence is always repulsive, yet violence against someone who is different from you -- just because they are different from you -- is especially repugnant. For that reason, I am grateful for the fine work performed by the Hate Crimes Task Force I established earlier this year, in developing recommendations to reduce bias-motivated attacks. We are working to implement these directives in schools and communities throughout the State. Further, I encourage other states to follow New York's lead in imposing harsher punishments against those who commit hate crimes.”

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Reader Response
  • Emlye Waldherr
  • August 24th, 2009 When the governor said, . . . violence against transgender people and other hate crimes will carry stiffer penalties, he was mistaken. Gender identity and expression are NOT covered in New York State hate crimes law. Had Dwight DeLee said, *** trannies need to go or some such hateful remark that was directed at Lateisha Green's gender, the hate crimes law would not have applied at all. Only because DeLee assumed them to be gay was he sentenced using hate crimes penalties.

    The solution for this egregious gap in New York's laws should be addressed. A law that has passed the NY Assembly more than once, and should have been passed by the Senate if it hadn't imploded by that ridiculous power struggle last June, called the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act (GENDA) is the tool by which this can be done.

    GENDA covers everyone, since we all have our own gender identities and ways that we express them but the important thing is that it would add gender identity and expression to New York's hate crime laws. Only when this law is passed and signed will Governor Paterson's statement REALLY be true.

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