Federal Court Upholds Gender-Reassignment Surgery for Killer

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A federal appeals court has ruled that a convicted murderer in Massachusetts can get a gender-reassignment surgery while in prison.


Michelle Kosilek, who was born as Robert, is serving a life sentence for the 1990 murder of his wife. (Credit: Los Angeles Times)

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.

Click here to read the full story at LATimes.com.