Trans Panic Defense

Definition - What does Trans Panic Defense mean?

The term "trans panic defense" refers to a type of defense in which a criminal defendant argues that the discovery that the victim was a transsexual justified an assault, or even a murder.

When a defendant uses a trans panic defense, they are claiming that the discovery of this information essentially caused them to panic and lash out violently.

Justipedia explains Trans Panic Defense

The trans panic defense is widely considered to be unfounded and insulting to trans people.

There has been a concentrated effort to ban the trans panic defense from being used in court. Several states have officially banned it, including Illinois.

People who oppose the trans panic defense argue that it implies that the life of a trans person is less valuable than the life of a non-trans person.

The trans panic defense is nearly identical to the gay panic defense. The gay panic defense works in the same way, except it involves a gay person instead of a trans person.

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