A convicted murderer was sentenced to death Thursday, Dec. 5 in the 2013 killing of a Trans female inmate at the Kern Valley State Prison. Miguel Crespo 48, was serving a life sentence for second degree murder in a case stemming from a 1993 shooting in Los Angeles County when corrections staff at the facility in October 2013 assigned Carmen Guerrero, a trans woman, to his cell for just eight hours during which Crespo bound, gagged, tortured and murdered her.
During sentencing, Crespo made it a point to tell Kern County Superior Court Judge John D. Oglesby that he warned prison officials that he’s not gay and that he was incompatible with Guerrero before the prison housed them together anyway.
“I had a restriction not to be housed with a [faggot],” Crespo said, according to NBC affiliate KGET.
NBC OUT on Friday, Dec. 6 notes that “the issue of transgender people in California’s prison system is fraught with conflict and even had become a topic in the Democratic presidential primaries, with former candidate Democratic Senator Kamala Harris facing questions over her stance on granting state-funded, gender-reassignment surgeries to transgender inmates” while she had served as California’s Attorney General.
SB 132 a bill sponsored by Calif. Democratic State Senator Scott Weiner, which is currently still in the legislative process, addresses incarcerated transgender people in the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The legislation passed the Senate and the Assembly Public Safety Committee and Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill will be eligible for a vote by the full Assembly in 2020.
The legislation requires that Trans inmates be classified and housed based on their sense of health, safety, and gender identity — as opposed to defaulting to anatomy or dictating placement based on sex assigned at birth. The bill would require CDCR to house incarcerated transgender people according to their gender identity or where they feel safest and:
Require that during the initial intake process, CDCR record the individual’s self-reported gender identity, pronouns, and honorific;
Require CDCR to house transgender people according to the person’s preference, including which facility the person states they feel safest in, which may or may not correspond with their gender identity; and
Require all staff and contractors of CDCR to consistently use the gender pronoun and honorific the person has specified in all verbal and written communications with and regarding that person.