The Lateisha Green Trial: Final Trial Blog Post
This is legal intern Laura Vogel blogging from the New York TLDEF office, having returned from Syracuse very late Friday night. The last day of the trial on Friday was emotional. As you know, the jury finished deliberating and delivered its verdict. Then, we spent several hours with Teish’s family. Finally, TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman was interviewed by several news sources, including the Los Angeles Times, before our return to New York City.
Jury Deliberations Conclude
When the jury was brought back to deliberate on Friday morning, they sent two notes to the judge. The first note requested all of the evidence, which they already had. In the second note, they asked to have Mark Cannon’s testimony read aloud to them. As the court reporter read Mark’s testimony, I could see jurors nodding, sighing, and generally seeming satisfied with what they were hearing. After the testimony concluded, the jury was escorted out of the courtroom. Less than thirty minutes later, we were called back into the courtroom for the verdict.
In an emotionally-charged moment, the jury found Dwight DeLee guilty of manslaughter in the first degree as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree.
The judge ordered DeLee held without bail pending sentencing, which will occur on Tuesday, August 18, at 9 am in Syracuse. At sentencing, Dwight DeLee will be sent to prison for between ten and twenty-five years.
Final Press Conference
After hearing the verdict, Teish’s family, Andy Marra (GLAAD), and TLDEF went outside of the court and spoke with the media. Teish’s uncle gave a moving statement to the press on behalf of the family, saying that they are thankful that the jury found DeLee guilty of a hate crime, but that this verdict will never give them back their beloved Teish. TLDEF Executive Director Michael Silverman spoke to the press about the impact this verdict will have nationwide.
While we never met Teish, she taught everyone a great deal about family and acceptance. After leaving the courthouse, we went back to the small restaurant where we first met with the family last Friday night for dinner. While we were there, the owner of the restaurant asked us how the trial went and whether or not we were going back to New York City. He also told us that Teish used to come to the restaurant with Roxanne, her mother, and that he missed seeing her there.
We went to Syracuse to educate the public about hate violence against transgender people. From local television, radio and newspaper coverage to national articles by the Associated Press and the Los Angeles Times, people around New York, around the country and around the world have learned a powerful lesson from Lateisha Green’s senseless killing. An Onondaga County jury sent a loud and clear message to the world: hate violence against transgender people will not be tolerated. What Lateisha’s father Albert Cannon told us is true: “None of us will be free until we can all walk down the street as we are without fear of harassment, intimidation and violence.”
Show Your Support
While the trial has ended, we encourage you to continue to send messages or personal notes of support to Lateisha’s family. This is still a very difficult time for them. You can email correspondence to: firstname.lastname@example.org. We can’t guarantee the family will be able to reply to your emails, but we know that they’ll read them and that they appreciate everyone’s support. Please write!
There’s more to come. We’ll be back in Syracuse for DeLee’s sentencing, where we hope to have additional public education opportunities. For continued updates regarding DeLee’s sentencing on August 18, 2009, stay tuned to the following sources:
- TLDEF on Twitter; and