What Jerry Decided

Inmate Michelle-Lael Norsworthy speaks during her parole hearing at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California, 21 May 2015.  Gov. Jerry Brown is weighing whether to grant parole for Norsworthy, a transgender inmate who is trying to force California to become the first state to pay for a prisoner's sex reassignment surgery.  (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

You know, this actually makes perfect sense. It’s a great lede, though, from the Associated Press:

Gov. Jerry Brown is allowing parole for a transgender inmate who is trying to force California to become the first state to pay for sex reassignment surgery.

Perhaps it’s the sense of dualism, and California really is running out of time. But this is a thirty year-old murder, the convict, Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, formerly Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy, was actually diagnosed with gender identity disorder in 1999, and has been receiving treatment.

A federal judge in April ordered the state to provide the surgery, which had been scheduled for July. It was delayed after the state appealed.

The governor’s office said Friday that Brown was taking no action on the Board of Parole Hearings’ recommendation to release Michelle-Lael Norsworthy, which means her parole will proceed.

The decision makes it less likely that the 51-year-old will be able to have surgery funded by the prison before she is released. Parole board spokesman Luis Patino said it usually takes about a week for an inmate to be released after the governor allows a parole to proceed.

Brown decided Norsworthy is no longer dangerous, 30 years after she fatally shot Franklin Gordon Liefer Jr., 26, following an argument in a Fullerton bar in November 1985.

And, yes, it’s going to happen anyway, for a different inmate; California agreed to provide sex reassignment surgery for Shiloh Quine, 56, a lifer.

Despite that nagging sense of either/or, this really does make perfect sense.

____________________

Image note: Inmate Michelle-Lael Norsworthy speaks during her parole hearing at Mule Creek State Prison in Ione, California, 21 May 2015. Gov. Jerry Brown is weighing whether to grant parole for Norsworthy, a transgender inmate who is trying to force California to become the first state to pay for a prisoner’s sex reassignment surgery. (AP Photo/Steve Yeater)

Associated Press. “Transgender Inmate Will Likely Get Parole Instead Of Court-Ordered Surgery”. The Huffington Post. 9 August 2015.

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