In Texas, It’s Okay To Kill An Uncooperative Prostitute
Chalk up another victory for Standing Your Ground. A man in Texas was acquitted this week for the murder of a Craigslist escort. Ezekiel Gilbert admitted to shooting Lenora Frago after he paid Frago $150, but she left his home without having sex with him.
Under Texas law, residents may use deadly force to prevent nighttime theft of anything “tangible” and “moveable.”
Gilbert’s defense team successfully argued that Frago was stealing the money by not exchanging sex for it. (So I’m assuming that Gilbert had a clear contract or TOS agreement with this Craigslist escort, explicitly outlining the transaction taking place? No? Oh well, no need for that kind of formality, it’s not like it was a life-or-death situation.)
Prosecutors argued that the law was not intended to protect illegal activities like prostitution. (So if he’d shot a plumber over a faulty $150 nighttime repair, Gilbert might not even have gone to trial?)
Though Frago spent the last seven months of her life paralyzed from the neck down before finally succumbing to her injuries, Gilbert has suffered too. On Wednesday, he told media that he has been in a “mental prison.”
“If I see guns on TV where people are getting killed, I change the channel,” said Gilbert.
The gun lobby has already made clear that use of deadly force is not just about self-defense or protection: guns increase the risk of loved ones dying from firearm homicide or suicide; and escalating a simple theft into violence could easily threaten bystanders. And I can understand the desire and need to protect one’s stuff. But $150 voluntarily handed over by a guy who didn’t read the fine print? What next – the guillotine for stealing a loaf of bread?
It seems we’re in a race to the bottom to see just how little provocation is needed to justify shooting someone- especially someone with darker skin. Maybe they don’t have sex with you; maybe they look suspicious in your neighborhood. What next?