On Thursday January 5 in San Francisco, convicted killer Shiloh Heavenly Quine, 57, became the first inmate in the United States to receive “sex-reassignment surgery” fully funded by taxpayers. This sounds like typical California craziness but the story really concerns outgoing president Obama and his legacy the justice system.
Rodney James Quine, father of two daughters, was twice married and divorced. In February of 1980 in Los Angeles, Quine and an accomplice gunned down Shahid Ali Baig, a 33-year-old father of three, then stole Baig’s car and $80. That year Quine drew a sentence of life without parole.
As Quine the convict discovered, life at California’s Mule Creek state prison is tough and dangerous. Without the possibility of parole, Quine started pining for a change of scenery. Quine began claiming that he first knew he was really a woman at the age of nine, and prison officials believed the convict suffered a longstanding case of “gender dysphoria.”
The convicted killer duly became Shiloh Heavenly Quine, living as a woman since 2008, when prison officials authorized hormone treatments. When prison officials denied legal attempts for a name change, Quine called for “sensitivity training” for prison guards requiring them to use female pronouns with the convict, who remained in a men’s prison.
Quine began pushing for a sex change operation, paid for by California taxpayers like everything else in prison. When officials denied the procedure, Quine attempted suicide. Faced with the prospect of transfer to a maximum security lockup, Quine complained of “severe pain,” and wrote of feeling “tortured” and in risk of future harm. Quinn continued to push for the sexual “reassignment” surgery, and the President of the United States soon came into play.
“For the next decade or longer,” wrote Howard Mintz in the San Jose Mercury News in 2015, “President Barack Obama’s political legacy in the Bay Area may be easiest to detect inside federal courthouses in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose.” One of the president’s 11 picks in that area was Jon Tigar, a former criminal defense lawyer and judge in Alameda County.
According to a LifeSiteNews report, federal judge Tigar “assigned himself to Quine’s case and appointed a team of San Francisco lawyers and the Transgender Law Center to represent him.” Tigar’s view was that denying a prisoner’s sex-change operation may constitute “deliberate indifference” to a serious medical need and, if so, would be unconstitutionally “cruel and unusual punishment.”
The Obama appointee thus made California the first state with a policy of providing sex reassignment surgery for violent criminals. As Terry Thornton of the California Department of Corrections explained, “The Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution requires that prisons provide inmates with medically necessary treatment for medical and mental health conditions, including inmates diagnosed with gender dysphoria.”
Therefore the state was legally required to pay for the operation, which reportedly cost taxpayers $100,000. Activists with the Transgender Law Center said that figure was “exaggerated” but did not reveal the actual costs. Neither did California governor Jerry Brown, who in 2015 allowed the parole of transgender inmate Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy, also known as Michelle-Lael Norsworthy.
With taxpayers on the hook, doctors have little incentive to keep the costs down. It is entirely possible that, like Caitlyn Jenner, Shiloh Heavenly Quine got the full treatment. The killer lost some key gear in the procedure but is now surely laughing it up en route to better digs in an unnamed women’s prison. The convict’s IQ remains unrevealed, but Shiloh Heavenly Quine is a lot smarter than prison officials and Obama appointee Jon Tigar.
Those who are not doctors, and don’t play one on television, will understand that sex-change surgery is an elective procedure and not a medical necessity. On the other hand, some mental patient might believe that refusal to force California’s embattled taxpayers to fund such a procedure constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. As for such surgery being a right, as some activists contend, nothing is a right that puts mandates and costs on other people. And convicted murderers don’t exactly enjoy the same rights as law-abiding citizens.
Obama appointee Jon Tigar’s decision was politically correct, not medically correct.
Political correctness holds that transgender people are special, accredited victims of a homophobic society. Likewise, in the politically correct view, violent criminals are victims of a skewed justice system. In classic style, Judge Tigar’s absurd decision elevated the concerns of violent criminals above those of true crime victims.
“My dad begged for his life,” Shahid Bair’s daughter Farida told reporters. “It just made me dizzy and sick… It’s kind of like a slap in the face.” That’s the judicial legacy of the outgoing president for crime victims, their families and all citizens.