Scroll To Top

Trangender inmate who changed the system goes home to die

Trangender inmate who changed the system goes home to die

A transgender inmate whose rape behind bars led to a new liability standard for prison officials has been sent home to die. Chief judge Joseph F. Murphy Jr. of the Maryland court of special appeals on Tuesday signed the order freeing Deirdre "Dee" Farmer from a state prison near Hagerstown, saying the inmate--blind, bedridden, and dying of AIDS complications--is no longer a threat to society. Murphy said, "There's no more need for the state of Maryland to confine him in a hospital bed in a penal facility." Farmer's attorney, Nicholas A. Szokoly, called the sentence modification "a bittersweet victory" that would allow his 39-year-old client "to go home and die in dignity." The former Douglas Farmer has the appearance and demeanor of a woman, enhanced by silicone breast implants and female hormones. But Farmer has male sex organs. Farmer sued federal prison officials over a 1989 rape that occurred about a week after the inmate arrived at a federal maximum-security prison for men in Terre Haute, Ind., from another federal prison in Oxford, Wis. The lawsuit claimed the government had violated Farmer's constitutional right to be free of cruel and unusual punishment by ignoring the risk that a feminine-appearing inmate would be raped by other prisoners. The Supreme Court rejected Farmer's argument that officials should have recognized the danger, ruling that prison officials can be held liable for inmate-on-inmate assaults only if they knowingly disregarded an excessive risk of harm. The ruling revived Farmer's lawsuit, which had been dismissed by two lower courts. Farmer lost in the subsequent trial when a federal jury in Wisconsin found for the defendants. At the time, Farmer was serving a 20-year sentence for credit card fraud. That was followed by a 30-year state sentence for offenses in Maryland. The nature of those offenses was unclear.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff