Annals of Heartlessness (18): Gays in Texas Like Prison Rape

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annals of heartlessness
Prisoner with mirror (1994), from Texas Death Row © Ken Light

Prisoner with mirror (1994), from Texas Death Row © Ken Light

(source)

Texas justice has rarely been kind to homosexuals. Take, for example, the case of Calvin Burdine, who was sentenced to death in 1984 for the murder of his male companion. Burdine’s court-­appointed lawyer, when not dozing, referred to his client as a “fairy.” The prosecutor, meanwhile, demanded the death penalty by arguing that gays actually look forward to the rewards of prison life. “Sending a homosexual to the penitentiary,” he claimed, “certainly isn’t a very bad punishment for a homosexual.” Astonishingly, a federal appeals panel first upheld the verdict on the grounds that nothing in the law guarantees a defendant the right to a fully conscious attorney. Burdine eventually won a new trial, at which he was again convicted, but this time sentenced to life in prison — a veritable candy store, it was said, for a “pervert” like him. (source, source)

More in the annals of heartlessness.

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