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On Jan. 21, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy signed “A1796/S2609 Prohibiting the Gay and Trans Panic Defense for Murder” into law. Effective immediately, the law made New Jersey the ninth state to ban this tactic, which the American Bar Association (ABA) defines as “a legal strategy which asks a jury to find that a victim’s sexual orientation or gender identity is to blame for the defendant’s violent reaction, including murder.” Governor Murphy declared: “Under this law, a defendant [is] prohibited from using a victim’s actual or perceived gender identity or expression or affectional or sexual orientation as a heat of passion defense to murder in New Jersey courts.”

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