Assemblywoman Bonilla’s Legislation to Ban “Panic Defenses” in Court Approved by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety

April 30, 2014 16:00 pm · 41 comments


Assemblywoman Susan A. Bonilla’s measure, AB 2501, was approved today by the Assembly Public Safety committee. This bill ensures that criminal defendants cannot use the so-called “panic defense” claim in an attempt to lower a charge from murder to manslaughter, or to escape conviction all together.

“It is appalling that defendants are currently allowed to use the ‘panic defense’ tactic in court to take advantage of a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity, as justification for their acts of violence,” said Assemblywoman Bonilla. “With this bill, we are making it very clear that discrimination against people of the LGBT community is never acceptable and certainly has no place in our justice system.”

In recent years, there have been a number of high-profile cases that illustrate how panic defenses have been successfully employed to take advantage of LGBT stereotypes and biases. AB 2501, sponsored by Equality California (EQCA), addresses this injustice. This bill prohibits the use of a “panic defense” to qualify for a conviction of lesser charges when the cause of panic is based on a victim’s gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.

“We’re glad that the Assembly Public Safety Committee agreed that this manufactured defense that plays upon homophobia and transphobia has no place in California’s justice system,” said John O’Connor, executive director of EQCA. “The law should not treat victims of crime any differently because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and that includes eliminating anti-LGBT bias as a ‘reasonable’ basis to mitigate the punishment for violent crimes against them.”

Rob April 30, 2014 at 4:14 PM

“AB 2501 would modify the existing definition of “voluntary manslaughter” to prohibit defendants from contending that they were provoked to murder by discovering the victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”

I would just say that if you are worried that you might be provoked into killing someone because they turn out to be gay, well, you may want to move to Mississippi or some other equally Conservative state where they will understand your fear of the gays…

Are you serious lady? April 30, 2014 at 4:20 PM

What a Joke!

Elwood April 30, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Thank you Jeebus for Fatty Bonilla!

What would we do without her introducing one asinine bill after another?

Of course her fellow dimmiecrats will routinely vote for them, just as she will vote for theirs.

It's a very slippery slope. April 30, 2014 at 4:40 PM

Seriously, does anybody else have a problem with the state telling us what defense we can or can’t use in court? Ultimately, it’s a jury of one’s peers that decides a verdict. If I murder somebody and use a ridiculous defense like “Aliens implanted a chip in my head that made me do it”, chances are nobody’s going to believe me and I’m going to be found guilty. So, if a “Panic Defense” has been used effectively in the past, maybe, in some situations, there’s some merit to it. Shouldn’t we leave that up to the jury to decide?

skrab April 30, 2014 at 4:53 PM

@ 2

Your punctuation and capitalization are the joke.

Michelle April 30, 2014 at 5:31 PM

More ‘feel good’ legislation.

California Nightmare April 30, 2014 at 5:55 PM

We may not like a particular defense, just like we may not like freedom of speech, but only a truly ignorant person (like Bonilla) would try to outlaw a defense she doesn’t like.

Anonymous April 30, 2014 at 6:06 PM

The pandering award this week goes to:

Hold it
Hold it

Big Bottom Bonilla!

typical concord resident April 30, 2014 at 6:23 PM

I can’t wait to see what Claycordians think of this one.

anon anon April 30, 2014 at 6:32 PM

Hmmmmm. Let’s see, if I’m looking into purchasing a 2010 Toyota Prius – I would expect it to have a 4 cylinder engine with an Electric assist motor as they ALL have, I would be shocked and pissed off when I went to purchase one to find out that the motor had been replaced with a briggs & stratton and the electric motor had been removed = THE CAR HAD BEEN MISREPRESENTED aka IT WAS NOT WHAT IT CLAIMED TO BE.
It’s got NOTHING to do with phobia – anything, it’s got to do with somebody presenting themselves as something that they are NOT.

94598 April 30, 2014 at 6:36 PM

Ridiculous…. You can alter your appearance to look like the opposite sex but you cant change your gender. If you try to fool somebody, expect a reaction.

Let a jury decide on the appropriateness of the reaction…shame on big bottom Bonilla (thank you post #6 for the moniker- I love it)

Texas Has Right Idea April 30, 2014 at 6:38 PM

And the school bathroom bill that the was passed and signed into LAW.
democrat controlled California state Legislature, turns out they didn’t think that one all the way thru (public backlash) AND it’s an election year, they are trying to change that law.

How about we do what TEXAS does, make sure legislators don’t have TOO MUCH time on their hands to get themselves in trouble and cost us money. Texas Legislature meets, on the second Tuesday in January of each odd-numbered year. Because it’s every other year and Texas Constitution limits the regular session to just 140 calendar days they take care of just the important business. State legislators in Texas make $28,200 a year, so most need a REAL day job.

Mark April 30, 2014 at 6:51 PM

Who keeps voting for these knuckleheads.

Anonymous April 30, 2014 at 7:03 PM

So unconstitutional that’s it’s almost funny. Scratch a liberal and you find a fascist

oldman April 30, 2014 at 7:17 PM

How small of you. It is clear that an exclamation is correct since he is not asking a question. Also, the capitalization is appropriate since the comment is about “the” joke.

Anon April 30, 2014 at 7:47 PM

This is just a PC way of saying, gays are better than everyone else, so if you hurt one the price is much higher.

Anonymous April 30, 2014 at 7:57 PM

Lord , this woman is a poster girl for special interst legislation. Pander, pander, pander.

You are all April 30, 2014 at 8:02 PM

Just to stupid to take seriously. So what do you
do when you find out your toyota,was misrepresented ,
kill the sales person? Say you panicked ?
Perhaps the person that shot that girl panicked,
and buried her as a result.
An insanity plea is one of the hardest, and longest
defenses that can be presented, so lets let another
one creep in. African/ American youth successfully
use the fear of police brutality defense when
running from police.
Some of you same posters appear to be tough talking
types on crime, but because of the messenger
you dismiss the message.
I would be surprised if your I Q’s were not equal
to your shoe size.

RunDogRun April 30, 2014 at 8:06 PM

So let me make sure I get
this. If a *he/she/it* grabs my
package and I deck *him/her/it,*
that’s a panic reaction and it’s
illegal. Appalling that our
legislative body has nothing
better to do. Bonilla obviously
isn’t watching Jerry Springer or
she’d be better informed.

Always Right April 30, 2014 at 8:41 PM

Thank you, Mr. Mayor, for continuously feeding us these PR bulletins from Bonilla and Desauliner.

They probably think you are on their side, but actually every one of these self-serving posts exposes their ignorance and lack of common sense.

The more the average Claycordian reads about these two, the worse it is for them.

Enough Already April 30, 2014 at 8:42 PM

This is why another box on the ballot is needed ” NONE of the above “.
If none of the above gets over 50% of the vote a new election is held and previous candidates are barred from running.

Elwood April 30, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Thank you Geebus for Fatty Bonilla!

What would we do without her introducing one asinine bill after another?

Of course her fellow dimmiecrats will routinely vote for them, just as she will vote for theirs.

Suzie April 30, 2014 at 9:17 PM

So if a woman grabs your package and gives it a little twist, why would you deck her?

Anon April 30, 2014 at 9:43 PM

So lets see. A defendant is accused of a crime.
Can’t explain why he did it according to Susan.
Jury cant judge if its true or not.

You get a fair trial here, unless its a favored minority that Susan is hitting up for votes.

She need a bill requiring her to go to Weight Watchers.

Libarace April 30, 2014 at 9:47 PM

Opps I misread this I thought it was “The Gay Picnic Defense”.

cornfed April 30, 2014 at 10:13 PM

Who is surprised by this drivel? This “legislation” doesn’t bother me because if some freak ever did ithat to me they’d never find ’em. Put that in your fass and smoke It Congresswoman.

Anonymous April 30, 2014 at 10:14 PM

Is she ever going to do anything for the regular folks?

Dennis April 30, 2014 at 10:18 PM

while she is introducing a bill coving perhaps 1/10,000 of 1% of homicides, she is ignoring the fact that 95% (19/20) of all homicides are committed by ex-felons. The same ex-felons that she and the Dems are letting out of prison at record setting rates. The same ex-felons that commit 30,000 violent crimes PER YEAR their first 3 years out of prison.

Why isn’t she addressing the fundamental failure of Democrats to protect 99.999999% of the public, instead of focusing on these useless laws that won’t accomplish anything, except perhaps to buy herself a few transgender votes?

cornfed April 30, 2014 at 10:27 PM

I figured that wasn’t going to get through.

cornfed April 30, 2014 at 10:30 PM

Is anyone surprised at this drivel?

Subterfuge May 1, 2014 at 1:20 AM

The police state squeezes tighter.

Always Right May 1, 2014 at 6:23 AM

Dennis, you are right as usual and your facts are indisputable.

I would just add that the pandering to the gay lobby by democrats is not so much about votes as it is about money.

The average politically active homosexual has a much higher amount of discretionary income than the average heterosexual. Why? Most do not have children, and many have achieved great success in their careers due to their ability to work long hours (again no kids at home ). Although less than 2% of the adult American population self identifies as gay, their influence in the political area is much larger due to the money.

Sharla May 1, 2014 at 7:52 AM

Always the crap starters, can we just say stop!

Anon May 1, 2014 at 8:12 AM

There are 80 members of the assembly including our own introducing legislation continuously for are benefit. Problem is it takes money to monitor and implement.

RunDogRun May 1, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Looks like our legislators
are trying to legislate our
natural God-given, self-
preservation instincts right
out of existence.

RunDogRun May 1, 2014 at 10:11 AM

@23Suzie You must be lost. The
“I’m in heat” thread is over on Whatever.

Gee whiz May 1, 2014 at 4:56 PM

This woman is embarrassing . She has no concept of criminal law. Or the rights of defendants, even if they are bad people.

She has record of approving the far left agenda, most noteworthy of which was allowing boys into girls bathrooms.

I haven’t seen one bill she sponsored that did anything for the middle class,only special interests.

Anon May 1, 2014 at 7:04 PM

These are the same losers who brought us, “boys can use the girls restroom”. What a bunch of morons.

Anon May 1, 2014 at 9:43 PM

Can’t we do better then her? Bought and paid for by unions and far left supporters

RunDogRun May 2, 2014 at 12:45 PM

I guess that “Scared Straight”
crap they were feeding us a
few years ago didn’t work.
If the truth be told, it would
not surprise me if taxpayers
weren’t paying for those gender
identificatiin reassignment
surgeries under some
psychiatric disablity provision
of Medicaid.

Veronica May 2, 2014 at 12:58 PM

I’m late to this one, Run Dog Run,–you don’t like women grabbing your package?

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