The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has joined a friend of court brief urging the New York Court of Appeals to reinstate the 2009 conviction of Dwight DeLee, who was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime in the 2008 shooting death in Syracuse, New York of Lateisha Green, a transgender woman.
DeLee was convicted of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime. The jury also found him not guilty on a second count, which was described to the jury as including manslaughter “but not as a hate crime.” DeLee’s attorneys appealed the verdict, arguing that the two verdicts contradicted each other and that therefore the conviction should be reversed. The Appellate Division agreed, reversed the conviction, and he was immediately released from prison.
“We are deeply committed to ensuring not only the enactment of hate crime laws, but the effective implementation of those laws,” said Evan R. Bernstein, ADL New York Regional Director. “Hate crime laws are an important weapon in law enforcement’s arsenal against hate, however they must be employed correctly to deter and address violence motivated by bigotry. We strongly urge the court to reinstate the conviction so that justice may be served.”
ADL drafted the model hate crime law more than 30 years ago. Since then, 45 states and the District of Columbia have enacted hate crime laws. Many of these states, including New York, patterned their laws after the League’s model statute.
ADL joined with Lambda Legal, The Center on the Administration of Criminal Law at New York University’s School of Law, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF), The LGBT Community Center in New York City, Empire State Pride Agenda, The Transgender Alliance of Central New York, and The New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, Inc. in a coalition brief in this case.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry. Follow us on Twitter @ADL_News