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Gay panic defense in Alabama saves thug from capital murder conviction

“He was not road kill. Despite what he did in his private life, Sammie Speigner’s life had value. He was shot, robbed and dumped into the street bleeding to death like an animal.”

— Prosecutor Joe Roberts, on the “blame the murder victim” defense

Yes, in some parts of the country, this ludicrous defense still goes over. It makes me sick. (The Birmingham News):

A Jefferson County jury convicted Raymond Carlisle of a reduced charge Thursday in the February shooting and robbery of a professor who had picked him up wanting gay sex.

Carlisle, 20, was charged with capital murder in the Feb. 17 shooting death of Sammie Speigner III, an adjunct professor of sociology at Birmingham Southern College.

.. Defense attorneys Amber Ladner and Cynthia Umstead contended the defendant, 19 at the time, reacted in the heat of passion when the 37-year-old victim tried to homosexually assault him. But since Carlisle faced death or life without parole if convicted of capital murder, both defense attorneys were pleased by the verdict.

Kathy at Birmingham Blues, whose stepdaughter knew Professor Speigner, is outraged.

See, supposedly Prof. Speigner picked up Mr. Carlisle for sex, offering to buy him some marijuana as a lure. Instead of saying “no” and exiting the car, Mr. Carlisle pulled a gun, chased Prof. Speigner from the car, and shot him to death. Then, instead of running away in horror or maybe even reporting the attempted assault to the police, Mr. Carlisle took the Professor’s car and wallet. He was caught a few days later, still driving the car, after using the stolen credit cards to party with his friends.

Yeah, that definitely sounds like the traumatized victim of an attempted rape.

The closing argument had Amber Ladner comparing the victim’s actions to that of a molester using a puppy to lure a young child.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding