Originally created 06/02/06

Not cruel, but highly unusual



Back then, it was the home of Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and the Boston Tea Party.

Today, Massachusetts is where gay marriage gets the go-ahead from one state Supreme Court justice - and a convicted murderer claims it is "cruel and unusual punishment" to deny him a sex-change operation in prison paid for by taxpayers.

One can hardly believe that anyone in the state of patriots - that's even the professional football team's nickname - would take seriously killer Robert Kosilek's claim: that taxpayers owe him a sex-change operation, or else it's a violation of his Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.

But in 2002, U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf actually ruled that Kosilek, in prison for life for killing his wife, is entitled to treatments for "gender identity disorder" - treatments that have already included taxpayer-funded psychotherapy, female hormone treatments and - get this - laser hair removal.

Now, Kosilek is suing again for the whole shebang: In a full-blown trial now going on, he wants a court to order taxpayers to cough up a sex-change operation. Again, it's cruel and unusual not to, he and his lawyers say.

What do you suppose Sam Adams would say to that?

Isn't it amazing how much progress we've made since 1789?

In other words, how far we've meandered from the Constitution?