Lambda Legal: Sessions’ newfound sympathy for transgender people is a cynical ployAround the Nation, Online Only, Top Highlights Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
NEW YORK— Monday, Joshua Vallum was sentenced to 49 years in prison for the murder of his girlfriend, Mercedes Williamson, who was transgender. His sentencing marked the first application of the federal hate crimes law for the murder of a transgender person and, following the news, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions cited the tragedy in a cynical ploy to support his dangerous criminal justice agenda. In response, Rachel B. Tiven, CEO of Lambda Legal, released the following statement:
“By touting the conviction and sentence given to Mercedes Williamson’s murderer yesterday, Sessions clearly – and cynically – hopes to use violence against transgender people as a way to disarm progressives who are speaking out against Sessions’ misguided and racially-charged approach to criminal justice.
“The same communities of color who are most at risk from anti-trans hate crimes are also those most targeted by Sessions’ reboot of the failed “War on Drugs” sentencing strategy.”
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