Elliot Morales, a man who identifies his sexual orientation as bisexual, has been convicted for killing Mark Carson in 2013 during a scuffle on a New York City street in an event which is now being ruled a hate crime.
The Associated Press reports that Morales believes that since he is bisexual, also belonging to the LGBTQ community, he cannot be charged with a hate crime as such.
Morales indeed pulled the trigger which killed Carson, which he admitted to. However, he claims that his reason for killing him was purely an act of self-defense.
Morales will face up to 30 years in prison when the sentencing process is over for killing Carson, who happened to be gay.
What makes the killing of a gay individual a hate crime as opposed to just a regular murder?
The FBI defines hate crimes as such on their website,
“A hate crime is a traditional offense like murder, arson, or vandalism with an added element of bias. For the purposes of collecting statistics, the FBI has defined a hate crime as a ‘criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.’ Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties. These efforts serve as a backstop for investigations by state and local authorities, which handle the vast majority of hate crime cases throughout the country.”
Therefore, in Morales’ case, it wasn’t solely the fact that he, a bisexual man, has killed a gay man, Carson, but that his bias came in the form of harassing vitriol and other derogatory expressions he aimed at a gay man.
His self-defense motive was contradicted by witnesses who claimed that he shouted anti-gay slurs at Carson and his gay roommate before shooting and killing Carson as he confronted him.
His anti-gay remarks before killing Mark was what upgraded his offense to a hate crime.
And what put the final nail on the coffin is the fact that New York’s hate crime law doesn’t state that attackers need to be of different ethnicity, race, sexuality, or gender for their crime to be classified as a hate crime.
This made it even easier for attorneys to pressure the court into giving Morales a larger sentence for his hate crime for killing a gay man despite being bisexual himself.
What really inspired Morales to kill a gay man?
NYPD reported that the conflict started when Carson and his roommate were passing in front of a pizza parlor shortly after midnight.
Suddenly, Morales called out to them, using anti-gay slurs and saying the men looked like “gay wrestlers.” The two then confronted Morales and followed him around a corner.
Next, Morales pulled a revolver and shot Carson in the face at point-blank range. After his immediate arrest, remorseless Morales then began laughing continuing his onslaught of taunting to the now deceased Carson,
“Diagnosis dead, doctor,” Morales said, while being handcuffed for killing the gay man out of pure homophobia.
As he cross-examined Carson’s former roommate at trial, Morales blamed the two men for the conflict that led to the shooting and suggested they should have ignored the taunts and walked away.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance made a statement regarding Morales’ rage against the victim’s sexual orientation being the main driver for killing him.
“Motivated by irrational rage, the defendant targeted and executed a defenseless young man based on his sexual orientation after taunting and insulting the victim and his companion.”
Morales thereby responded by claiming that he was “not a bigot of any type” and that charging him with a hate crime for killing a gay man was “ridiculous,” as he wept to the jurors.
[AP Photo/Richard Drew]