U.S. Law Allows Inmate Seeking Sex Change Eligiblility for Legal Fees

by Admin on September 19, 2012

A convicted murderer in Massachusetts has won the right to get a state-funded sex change is also eligible to have legal fees-expected to top $500,000-paid as well.

U.S. District Judge Mark Wolfe ordered the state Department of Correction to provide sex-reassignment surgery to Michelle Kosilek. Wolf found that prison officials had violated Kosilek’s Eigth Amendment right to protection against cruel and unusual punishment, and that the surgery is the “only adequate treatment” for Kosilek’s gender-identity disorder.

Since Kosilek’s Eighth Amendment rights were violated he is now to be awarded “reasonable” attorney’s fees and costs.

DOC spokeswoman Diane Wiffin said the department is reviewing Wolf’s ruling on legal fees. The department has not yet made a decision on whether to appeal the ruling ordering sex-reassignment surgery.

Kosilek, 63, was born male but lives as a woman in an all-male prison. The ruling marks the first time a judge has ordered prison officials to provide sex-reassignment surgery.

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