Last week, the lawyer for a man convicted of second-degree murder and other charges in New York told a judge that his client's sentence should be lessened because the victim was a transgender woman and allegedly involved in sex work. Rasheen Everett was sentenced to 29 years to life in prison for the brutal killing of Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, a 29-year-old transgender woman, at her Queens apartment in 2010.
According to news reports, Everett's attorney, John Scarpa, asked the jury during proceedings last week, "Who is the victim in this case? Is the victim a person in the higher end of the community?" Additionally, Scarpa claimed that the sentence length for his client should be reserved for those found guilty of killing "certain classes" of people.
The Anti-Violence Project is now calling for Scarpa to apologize, and asking the Queen's District Attorney's office to issue a public condemnation of his offensive comments. "This type of speech is tantamount to hate speech and says that LGBT people, and particularly transgender women, are "other" and not worthy of protection," said AVP in a statement.