THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously reinstated a lawsuit that was previously tossed out by a lower court, which will now allows trans inmate Ophelia Azriel De’lonta to proceed with her case against the state of Virginia to allow her to undergo sex reassignment surgery.
De’lonta attorneys argued that to deny her the surgery amounted to “cruel and unusual” punishment — a violation of the Eighth Amendment. The court did not order the surgery but ruled the case was viable and the previous judge was wrong for tossing it. The case now goes back down to district court for further proceedings. De’lonta is in prison for bank robbery with a 73 year term.
4th Circuit Judge Albert Diaz: “The disease is “characterized by a feeling of being trapped in a body of the wrong gender . . . In these cases, the surgery is not considered experimental or cosmetic; is it an accepted, medically indicated treatment.”
The “cruel and unusual punishment” claim is the same one that recently won Mass. inmate Michelle Kosilek an order from a judge requiring the state to give her the surgery (now being appealed). More on Kosilek: http://lexiecannes.wordpress.com/?s=Michelle+Kosilek
Case #: De’lonta v. Johnson et al., No. 11-7482.
More on the De’lonta case: Federal appeals court reinstates prisoner’s sex-change lawsuit | Reuters.
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