The United States Law Week

Justices Deny Transgender Killer, Wanted ‘Suicide by Execution’

Dec. 3, 2018, 2:40 PM

A transgender death row inmate won’t get U.S. Supreme Court review of her claim that her undiagnosed gender dysphoria invalidated her decision to waive jury sentencing and in the words of her attorneys, “commit suicide by execution.”

Today’s refusal comes as the court is considering whether to take up other high-profile transgender rights disputes, including the scope of employment discrimination laws and military service.

Jenna Rodgers was sentenced to die in Florida for crimes committed as Jeremiah Rodgers, waiving her right to a jury during the penalty phase of her trial and leaving the decision up to a judge.

Rodgers now says her longstanding and untreated gender dysphoria made the waiver invalid. Gender dysphoria is the “conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which” they identify, according to the American Psychiatric Association.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to hear the challenge means Rodgers’ death sentence stands.

The case is Rodgers v. Florida, U.S., No. 18-113, review denied 12/3/18.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kimberly Strawbridge Robinson in Washington at krobinson@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jessie Kokrda Kamens at jkamens@bloomberglaw.com

To read more articles log in. To learn more about a subscription click here.