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Why should taxpayers cover an inmate's sex-change surgery?

To the editor: As someone whose family has been tragically impacted by the murder of a loved one, I was stunned to learn that the state of California (meaning its already tapped-out taxpayers) has been ordered by a judge to foot the $100,000 bill for convicted murderer Michelle-Lael Norsworthy's sex change operation. ("Federal judge orders California prison inmate be granted sexual reassignment," April 2)

I shudder to think how much additional taxpayer money has been spent on this case.

It's sad to hear that Norsworthy (who, according to The Times, started identifying as a woman several years after she was sent to prison) is suffering "dissatisfaction with her life." But since when is society expected to ensure that criminals incarcerated for heinous crimes should have a satisfying experience behind bars?

Debra Harner, Woodland Hills

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