Convicted Murder To Be Executed Despite Gender Dysphoria, State Supreme Court Says

( A transgender prisoner convicted of murder and now on death row in Ohio has had his sentence upheld by the state’s highest court despite the inmate’s argument that his defense counsel failed to adequately establish earlier trauma, which included gender dysphoria, adequately.

Victoria Drain, previously known as Joel Drain, had her conviction and death sentence affirmed by the highest court in the state on Wednesday. Victoria Drain was found guilty of the murder of fellow prisoner Christopher Richardson in 2019 and was sentenced to death for her crime.

According to the court filings, Drain tried to convince Richardson, who was serving a 38-year term for the murder of a man he had stabbed and strangled to death in 2016, to assist him in murdering another prisoner whom Drain believed to be a child abuser.

Richardson refused to participate, so Drain killed him by suffocating him and beating him to death so that he wouldn’t tell the officials at the jail about the plot.

According to the court filings, Drain was being treated for mental health issues at a facility that provided them at the time of the attempted castration.

The judge concluded that the defendant’s gender dysphoria and other previous traumatic experiences did not provide any mitigating value to either the punishment or the conviction.

According to the court’s ruling, “the crime itself was violent, extremely personal, and carried out terribly.”

Justice Brunner demanded that the matter be remanded for a new mitigation hearing.

According to Justice Brunner, Drain’s counsel had enough proof of severe trauma and mental illness, including gender dysphoria with self-harm, and other diagnoses, including schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and posttraumatic stress disorder. The minority claimed that the mitigation inquiry conducted by Drain’s lawyers was subpar, partly because counsel neglected to look into several mitigating factors “that were abundantly evident.”

The minority argued that even if Drain barred her attorneys from presenting specific mitigating evidence, they were not precluded from showing all the information they had obtained about her health. The dissent also argued that more information on Drain’s mental health problems affecting her criminal activity should have been provided.