Law and Justice

Gender Prison: Trial begins in the killing of Jennifer Laude

 photo Laude_zpsegwflf54.jpgThe trial of Marine Pfc. Joseph Pemberton in the murder of transgender Fillipina Jennifer Laude began yesterday.

 photo Pemberton_zpsoox2j9xa.jpgPemberton arrived in court with what was called a security escort but appears to the casual observer to be his entourage.

Laude's mother, Julita Cabillan, when approached by reporters was reported to have said that she would not drop the case, even is she was offered a million dollars.

Lawyers for the Laude family say that prosecutor Emilie Fe de los Santos had taken that statement as a sign that the Laude family was open to a plea bargain and that the prosecutor promoted that idea with defense attorneys.

Laude's relatives say they received a letter from Pemberton offering 21 million pesos (US $468,000) in exchange for their approval to lower the charge from murder to homicide. Murder carries a 40 year sentence, while homicide gets 20 years.

No amount of money could pay for the years I spent raising my child.

What they did to my child was gruesome. Just because we are poor doesn't mean we can't fight for justice.





Transgender protesters block traffic in downtown LA

This last Friday at 5pm several dozen transpeople gathered in downtown Los Angeles at 3rd and La Cienega, at the site of the Beverly Center shopping mall.





The rally, called the Spring into Love Rally was organized by FAMILIA: Trans and Queer Liberation Movement and the transLatin@ Coalition and supported by NGLTF.

The purpose of the rally was to call for an end to violence against and killings of transgender and gender non-conforming people in Southern California.



A Diatribe

Often I see it mentioned by folks that the country is going to hell in a handbasket and bemoaning the state of our society. This is often accompanied by myriad reasons, some of which seem to have more merit than others in my opinion.
While I tend to agree with the statement in general, and several of the reasons in particular, I have come upon what I consider a defining moment among the reasons, and that is defending the torture that our gov’t and its operatives did in our name.



Our Ugly History

What's going on in America with regards to the killing of black men for pretty petty crimes so often now really reminds me of the old days of lynchings. In those days, the white folks in town played judge, jury, and executioner of a great many black folks who they had accused of some crime or another. They didn't get a trial.



South Carolina DMV sued in federal court over gender policing incident

Last March Chase Culpepper, 16, applied for a South Carolina driver's license. Chase is gender non-conforming but still uses male pronouns. At the DMV Chase was told that he could not have his license photo taken unless he removed the make-up he uses on a daily basis.

I covered the story at the time: Disguise and Deception, complete with the basic concept:


No amount of makeup remover can erase how he feels.

The government should not be in the business of telling men and women how we are supposed to look as men and women.

--Michael Silverman, executive director of the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF)

On Tuesday TLDEF filed a federal lawsuit against the South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles brought by Theresa Culpepper on behalf of her minor child, asking the court to rule that denying Chase the freedom to wear his everyday makeup in his license photo constitutes sex discrimination and violates his right to free speech and expression under the United States Constitution. The suit also seeks a ruling that the DMV's policy (roughly, that it cannot take the photo of anyone who is "in disguise") is unconstitutionally vague, too broad, and allows DMV employees to "police gender" (i.e. to arbitrarily decide how a driver's license applicant should look without regard to the rights of the people they are supposed to serve).



VotSquare for Saturday, 30 August 2014

A Lead Arts & Entertainment Story: Top Ten Labor Day Songs, By Peter Rothberg at The Nation.

Or click on the headline to go to the embedded paper here at the Voices on the Square site. Note that the embed is not compatible with all devices.



Gender Prison: Apparently we deserve the murders we get

Dantijer Dominick Powell, 19, of SanBernadino, CA had a hearing yesterday in the case of the murder of transwoman Fontana resident Domonique Newburn in 2013.

Powell has been held without bail since his arrest in Springfield, MO in February and extradition to California. Newburn, an actress who appeared in the web reality series Hollywood Houseboys about four gay friends trying to make it in the entertainment business, also had her car and other items stolen. Her Black Mercedes Benz was found abandoned at Perris Hill Park.

 photo newburn_zps3a1aaa22.jpg

There’s a possibility Powell and Newburn were involved in a relationship of some sort. 

--Police Spokesman Doug Imhof, at the time of the killing

Police also said they were looking in the possibility that Newburn was involved in the sex trade...I guess in an attempt to paint the murder as justified.

Lots of transgendered people turn to the sex trades during their transition. Sometimes it’s the only job they can get.

--transwoman, Tara Wallace, 26, at the vigil outside Newburn's apartment in the days after the murder

Jamie Nicole Cotton, 26, of Highland, is charged as an accessory in the murder for helping Powell flee prosecution.




Doing the right thing

crossposted from: Humanitarian Left

from Humanitarian Left, 24 June, 2014

* Originally posted at Daily Kos

We have rules in society, and for the most part, generally speaking and at their most basic level, they are good ones: don't rob, steal, kill, set your neighbor's house on fire, etc. But not all rules are equal, and while playing by them is usually good and the right thing to do – that's not always true.

henry-david-thoreau-daguerreotype-1856 72dpi copy

“If the machine of government is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law.”

Henry David Thoreau



Real Times in Baltimore

I have been offline for the past month during our move to the Los Angeles area. But life has gone on for other people elsewhere, so I have a lot to report over the next week or so.

 photo henderson_zps051dee77.jpgTwo African American transwomen have been murdered in Baltimore in the past six weeks. Most recently the body of Mia Henderson was found in a northwest Baltimore alleyway.

When other folk are killed, you know all about it,. But where are the flowers, where are the candles and cuddly toys for Mia? Where are the leaflets asking people to come forward with information? There’s none of that.

--Michele Moore, 31

As usual media reports revealed Henderson's birth name and past criminal history.




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