Wednesday, July 8, 2009

CA Appeal Court Upholds Conviction of Gwen Araujo's Killers

Gwen Araujo

A California state court of appeal upheld the second degree murder convictions of two young East Bay men for their part in the strangling, beating, and murder of 17 year old male-to-female transgender Latina Gwen Amber Rose Araujo in 2002. Jose Merel and Michael Magidson had appealed their convictions on the grounds that the Alameda County trial judge had not defined the crimes properly to the jury at the time of the original trial in 2005, and that there had not been sufficient evidence for second degree murder convictions. The appeal court ruled 3-0 against the petition of the defendants, who will continue to serve out their 15-year sentences for the grisly murder.

The 2002 Araujo case drew national attention to the plight of transgender people in the United States, especially transgender people of color. Araujo, born biologically male and originally known as Eddie, had transitioned to being female by the time of the assault. After she died, her mother legally changed her name to Gwen as a sign of love and respect. Her killers, who knew her as “Lida” had known her for months, and Gwen believed they were fast friends. Both Merel and Magidson had sex with Araujo orally and anally. According to their defense, she had not revealed her biological identity to them. When her biological maleness was discovered, the defense went on to contend, the men attacked Araujo “in the heat of the moment,” and therefore deserved convictions for a lesser charge of manslaughter instead of murder. The prosecution successfully argued against this version of the “trans-panic defense,” and secured the murder convictions against them. Two other defendants in the case, Jaron Nabors and Jason Cazares pled guilty to manslaughter and were sentenced to 11 and 6 years respectively. They have not sought to challenge their convictions.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin

About This Blog

All of the pictures,messages on this blog have been gathered from the internet, none of the images have been produced or scanned by me neither do I have the copyright on any of these images, The blog in no way intends to infringe on anyone's copyright. I guarantee I would remove the images immediately if it infringes anyones right. For any questions or suggestions please email me.Email :-

Blog Archive

  © 0

Back to TOP