A federal appeals court has ruled that a convicted murderer in Massachusetts can get a gender-reassignment surgery while in prison.
In 1990, Michelle Kosilek — who was born physically male, and who at that point still identified as Robert — murdered her wife, Cheryl McCaul, a drug counselor at a volunteer treatment facility.
Kosilek was later convicted and sentenced to life in a medium-security prison for men. She legally changed her name, began receiving hormone treatment and began identifying as a woman, and has remained in the prison. According to court records, Kosilek, now 64, has believed from birth that she was a woman “cruelly trapped in a man’s body.”
The appeals court ruling, issued Friday, follows years of litigation that began in 1992, when Kosilek asked that the state provide an operation to help complete her transition.
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