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I can see how people in Boston can be outraged this is nutz! http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/06/26/se....ap/index.html and ... Stackers' Lounge forum

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    mserica513's Avatar
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    Oddball story of the day

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    I can see how people in Boston can be outraged this is nutz!

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/06/26/se....ap/index.html


    and for those that dont like links :
    (keep in mind this guy is in jail for murder but claims its self defense) Long read sorry but its entertaining none the less.

    Convicted killer's bid for sex change draws big costs

    POSTED: 9:46 p.m. EDT, June 26, 2007


    var clickExpire = "07/26/2007";Story Highlights

    • Convicted killer Robert Kosilek, now called Michelle, wants sex-change surgery
    • Trial opened more than a year ago; expert testimony has cost more than $52,000
    • Advocates say sex-change surgery, in some cases, is a medical necessity
    • Trial outrages lawmakers who say taxpayers shouldn't pay for "elective" surgery
    Adjust font size:



    BOSTON (AP) -- A trial that opened more than a year ago has become bogged down in Boston federal court.
    There have been hundreds of hours of testimony from witnesses, including 10 medical specialists paid tens of thousands of dollars. The judge himself even hired an expert to help him make sense of it all.
    The question at the center of the case: Should a murderer serving life in prison get a sex-change operation at taxpayer expense?
    The case of Michelle -- formerly Robert -- Kosilek is being closely watched across the country by advocates for other inmates who want to undergo a sex change. Transgender inmates in other states have sued prison officials, and not one has succeeded in persuading a judge to order a sex-change operation.
    The Massachusetts Correction Department is vigorously fighting Kosilek's request for surgery, saying it would create a security nightmare and make Kosilek a target for sexual assault.
    An Associated Press review of the case, including figures obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests and interviews, found that the Correction Department and its outside health care provider have spent more than $52,000 on experts to testify about an operation that would cost about $20,000.
    The duration and expense of the case have outraged some lawmakers who insist that taxpayers should not have to pay for inmates to have surgery that most private insurers reject as elective.
    "They are prisoners. They are there because they've broken the law," said Republican state Sen. Scott Brown, who unsuccessfully introduced a bill to ban sex-change surgery for inmates. "Other folks, people who want to get these types of surgeries, they have to go through their insurance carrier or save up for it and do it independently. Yet if you are in prison, you can do it for nothing? That doesn't make a lot of sense."
    Advocates call surgery a medical necessity

    But advocates say in some cases -- such as that of Kosilek, who has twice attempted suicide -- sex-change surgery is as much a medical necessity as treatment for diabetes or high blood pressure.
    "The duty belongs to the prison to figure out how to fulfill its constitutional obligations to both provide adequate medical care and provide a fundamental security for all inmates," said Cole Thaler, an attorney with Lambda Legal, a gay- and transgender-rights group.
    Kosilek, 58, was convicted of strangling his wife in 1990. He claimed he killed her in self-defense after she spilled boiling tea on his genitals.
    Robert Kosilek legally changed his name to Michelle in 1993, and has sued the Correction Department twice, arguing that its refusal to allow a sex-change operation violates the Eighth Amendment protection against cruel and unusual punishment.
    In 2002, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled that Kosilek was entitled to medical treatment for gender identity disorder, but stopped short of ordering the surgery. Kosilek sued again in 2005, arguing that the hormone treatments, laser hair removal and psychotherapy she has received since Wolf's ruling have not relieved her anxiety and depression.
    "I would not want to continue existing like this," Kosilek testified.
    Kosilek's second trial, which began in May 2006, has featured expert testimony from 10 doctors, psychiatrists and psychotherapists. Wolf has not indicated when he will rule.
    Experts offer up differing opinions

    The Correction Department has spent about $33,000 on two experts it retained to evaluate Kosilek. Both Cynthia Osborne, a Baltimore psychotherapist, and Chester Schmidt, a psychiatry professor at Johns Hopkins University, said Kosilek does not need the surgery. Schmidt's fee alone was $350 per hour.
    Two other doctors retained and paid for by the department's outside health provider, the University of Massachusetts Correctional Health Program, at a cost of just under $19,000 said they believe the surgery is medically necessary for Kosilek. Two other doctors who work for the health provider agreed with that.
    In addition, two psychiatrists who testified for Kosilek recommended the surgery. A Boston law firm representing Kosilek for free paid for those experts but would not disclose the cost.
    In Wisconsin, five inmates sued after the Legislature passed a law that bars Correction Department funding for hormone treatments or sex-change surgery. The case is expected to go to trial in October.
    Those who argue against allowing the surgery say it could open the floodgates to other inmates who want sex-change operations or other treatments considered elective.
    In Massachusetts, 10 inmates have been diagnosed with gender identity disorder and are receiving hormone treatments. Two other inmates besides Kosilek have asked for sex-change surgery.
    Corrections officials say their decision to deny the surgery has nothing to do with costs or the politics of crime. They cite the testimony of their experts and Kosilek herself that her feelings of depression have diminished since she began taking hormones.
    Former Commissioner Kathleen Dennehy testified that allowing Kosilek to complete the transformation into a woman would present a security problem. Whether she stays in a male prison or is transferred to a female prison, she could become a target for sexual assault, Dennehy testified.
    Dennehy also said prison officials cannot be influenced by Kosilek's talk of suicide.
    "The department does not negotiate or respond to threats of harm or suicide in an effort to barter," she said. "You couldn't run a prison with that kind of leveraging going on."

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    Re: Oddball story of the day

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    My take on this is they are denying him/her valid medical procedure. This is cruel and inhuman treatment.

    Gender identity disorder is a real psychological and psychophysical disorder. To deny full treatment is tantamount to denying an appendectomy to an inmate who is suffering from appendicitis.

    When a person commits a crime, it does not make them any less of a person.
    When a person gets convicted and sentenced for that crime, does it make them any less of a person?

    I'm not a lawyer, I just play one on TV. Actually, I'm a paralegal.

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    Re: Oddball story of the day

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    To Akakios:

    A crime is a crime is a crime is a crime, etc.

    Should we offer petty criminals More freedoms that those who commit more serious crimes?

    It should also be noted that not all persons convicted are guilty. Time and time again, people have been proven innocent after spending years in jail. Then they have absolutely no recourse. I am not saying this guy is not guilty.

    This is America. An American citizen NEVER loses the rights given him or her by the constitution.

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    Re: Oddball story of the day

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    Very true. But this is all moot. An individuals opinion on this subject and similar subjects is just that, an opinion.

    I've said my part. During trials and court procedure, vital facts are very often omitted for the sake of a conviction. Not everyone has access to the best attorneys and some attorneys even have sway with some judges.

    I say innocent before guilty. Guilty only after I know all of the facts.

    Would you not allow 100% elective facial reconstructive surgery to someone victimized while in prison during a fight or riot? What if this victim now has depression as a result of his or her imposed deformity?

    On a side note not all surgeries so called "elective" are performed just because someone wants it.

    I am glad to pay taxes because I hope my taxes improve our country. Rehabilitating a criminal and reintroducing him or her into mainstream society is our duty if we are to improve society. I know it sounds a bit socialist, but you cannot improve upon the whole be removing from it. I go now.

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    Re: Oddball story of the day

    I dont believe tax payers should pay for it. Instead of using all this time trying to get a sex change, why isnt he appealing, especially if he killed someone in self defense? My dollars should never be used to change someones sex, regardless of the reason. he was born a man, he needs to die as one. If he wants one that bad HE SHOULD FIND A WAY TO PAY FOR IT. thats not the taxpayers fault he's a woman trapped in a mans body.

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