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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Gay Man Executed
2003-10-08

This article shared 2161 times since Wed Oct 8, 2003
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Convicted murder Edward Hartman was executed last week in North Carolina after his lawyers lost an appeal alleging anti-gay prejudice in sentencing, reports AP. Nine national LGBT organizations condemned the execution of Eddie Hartman Oct. 3. Amnesty International's OUTFRONT Program, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, The Human Rights Campaign, Integrity, Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Out of Control Lesbian Committee, National Center for Lesbian Rights and Queer to the Left signed on to ads placed in four North Carolina papers denouncing Eddie Hartman's execution and urging Gov. Michael Easley to commute his sentence to life in prison. Hartman was found guilty of killing Herman Smith, his housemate, in North Hampton County in 1993.

Hartman confessed to the crime, cooperated with authorities, expressed remorse for his actions, and did not contest his guilt. During the sentencing hearing, Prosecutor David Beard presented the jury with evidence that Hartman was gay. When Hartman's mother and aunt testified that he was sexually abused at 8 and 11 by older male relatives, Beard asked, 'Well, you knew that Mr. Hartman is a homosexual. You've heard that.'

Even after the judge ruled that Beard's statement was improper, he continued, asking next, 'Did you know what sexual persuasion the defendant was?' Beard subsequently attempted to present two men to testify that one had a romantic relationship with Hartman and the second had sexual relations with Hartman.

According to Chicagoan Joey Mogul, a criminal defense attorney and member of Queer to the Left, 'The Prosecutor was obsessed with presenting irrelevant and inflammatory evidence of Hartman's sexual orientation because he knew rural jurors' biases, that gay men are deviant and perverted, would sway them to kill him.'


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