February 1, 2024

A Man Who Threw Boiling Water on a Gay Couple Will Spend 40 Years in Prison

A man who threw boiling water on a gay couple will spend 40 years in prison.

Martin Blackwell had a lot of time to change his mind while waiting for his pot of boiling water to boil, but instead he went ahead and poured the scalding liquid over two gay men sleeping on their mattress. That "soulless" decision left Anthony Gooden and Marquez Tolbert with severe burns that required multiple surgeries and hospital stays, including two weeks in an induced coma for Gooden. The pair, who are both long-distance truck drivers, told the court that the attack was sparked by Blackwell's anger at their sexual orientation, and they have no doubt it was premeditated.

The victims, who are now friends, testified that they relive the pain of that day every time they close their eyes. Both said they hoped to forgive Blackwell someday, but that he should be in jail for a very long time. They weren't alone in their conviction; a jury found Blackwell guilty of eight counts of aggravated battery and two counts of aggravated assault.

The attack was horrific and could have killed the men, but Georgia does not have a hate crime law — as of now, it joins 19 states in refusing to include sexual orientation in its hate crimes statutes, according to the Washington Post. That is a shame, because polls show that 67 percent of Americans support including sexual orientation in federal hate crime laws.

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