Wife killer denied jail release for sex change

Wife killer denied jail release for sex change
Switzerland's supreme court in Lausanne. Photo: Federal Administration
Switzerland’s top court has refused a bid by a transsexual convicted of murdering his wife who sought to leave jail temporarily for a sex change operation and then continue his sentence in a prison for women.

The supreme court on Wednesday released reasons for its decision to deny the appeal by the man who was sentenced by a Valais cantonal court to 11 years in jail on February 1st 2006 for murdering his spouse four years earlier.

He killed the woman in the apartment they shared in Sion because he could not accept her decision to separate from him, the ATS news service reported.

The man applied for a suspension of his jail sentence in November 2011 so he could have an operation to become a woman.

The request was turned down, although a psychiatrist from a Lausanne hospital diagnosed him as a transsexual.

In September 2011, by which time he had served half of his sentence, he again requested conditional release.

In March 2012, the criminal division of the Valais cantonal court rejected his demand for a conditional release.
In its decision, the Lausanne-based supreme court upheld the lower court’s decision noting that “transsexualism is not an illness so serious that it would necessitate a release for reasons of humanity”.

The court also found that conditions in jail were not an absolute impediment to his being treated for his transsexualism.

As well, it ruled that the man could wait until he is eligible for early release after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

Convicted criminals can be eligible for conditional release after serving half of their sentence and a minimum of three months in “extraordinary cases”, the court said.

However, it said this was not one of them.

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