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Sessions Sends DOJ Lawyer to Help Prosecute Alleged Murderer of Iowa Transgender Teen

Sessions Sends DOJ Lawyer to Help Prosecute Alleged Murderer of Iowa Transgender Teen

Sessions has a history of condemning hate crimes.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has shocked a few people since he has decided to send a Department of Justice lawyer to help prosecute the alleged murderer of an Iowa transgender teen. From The New York Times:

“This is just one example of the attorney general’s commitment to enforcing the laws enacted by Congress and to protecting the civil rights of all individuals,” said Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the Justice Department.

Lawyer Christopher J. Perras, who works in the civil rights division at the DOJ, officially became involved last Friday and will help Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers and Assistant Iowa Attorney General Laura Roan to prosecute 22-year-old Jorge “Lumni” Sanders-Galvez. He faces first-degree murder charges “in the shooting death of Kedarie Johnson.”

Johnson, 16, was shot to death in March 2016. Family and friends said he was gay and identified as both male and female, often went by the name Kandicee.

No one has revealed the motive in the killing. Beavers stated that the feds wanted to become involved because “they are investigating the case as a federal hate crime” and may bring charges of their own against Sanders-Galvez.

As a senator, Sessions opposed a federal law that “makes it a crime to attack someone based on gender identity.” During his confirmation hearing, he told the Senate Judiciary Committee that everyone “can be sure” he will enforce the law.

While Sessions is against same-sex marriage and stated that federal laws do not protect transgender people under federal law, he has always spoken out fiercely against hate crimes. The New York Times continued:

But he has also brought several hate crime cases, including one against a man accused of burning a mosque. He condemned white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va., far more forcefully than the president. And he has vowed tough action against hate crimes, speaking aggressively in ways that few of his most ardent opponents could have predicted. He has tied enforcement of those crimes to his tough stance against violence, a cornerstone of his policies as attorney general.

In June, Sessions gave a speech at the 2017 Hate Crime summit in which he reiterated his commitment to enforce hate crime laws. From USA Today:

“I personally met with the Department’s senior leadership and the Civil Rights Division to discuss a spate of murders around the country of transgender individuals,” he continued. “I have directed the Civil Rights Division to work with the United States Attorney’s Offices and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to identify ways the Department can support the state and local law enforcement authorities investigating these incidents and to determine whether federal action would be appropriate.

“I specifically directed that the files of these cases be reviewed to ensure that there is no single person or group behind these murders or to what extent hate crime motivation lies behind such murders,” he said. “I receive regular updates on the status of that review.”

Back in March, some House members asked Sessions to review numerous murders of black transgender females. He has asked the top civil rights prosecutors and the FBI to investigate the case files and contact local authorities for information.


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I am reminded of the presidential debate question when W was pressed on why there were not more strict laws against hate crimes, and the Byrd dragging death was used as an example.

As I recall, Bush quite properly hit the question out of the park by stating that the people who committed the crime were arrested, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death row. (although I couldn’t find the video, so my memory may be fuzzy)

Sessions is quite right. Murder is murder.

Some are more equal than others.

Paul In Sweden | October 16, 2017 at 12:24 pm

I can’t find anything that indicates this is a hate crime so I don’t know why the DOJ is involved unless there is a lot more out there that has not been revealed.

One State Senator did make the argument that this case is being used to force Transgender Protection law through the legislature.

How can this be considered a Hate Crime when no motive has been established/disclosed?

What I did find of interest was some calamity with court rulings over the fact that although the murder suspect repeatedly asked for an attorney from the very beginning of his questioning, the detectives ignored him and continued their interrogation of the suspect. This seems to be a problem.

The concept of a “hate crime” is a perversion.

The motivation behind the push for “hate crimes” is to eventually criminalize not just crimes ostensibly motivated by hate, but to criminalize “hate” itself. And “hate” will be defined by those who hate things like … free speech.

Free speech has been the target all along. “Political correctness” is the practice of shutting up free speech by extra-legal means. “Hate crimes” will be the vehicle for eventually shutting up free speech by legal means. And, although it’s yet to reach its apotheosis, that program is progressing nicely—witness the number of useful idiots who have been convinced that “hate speech” is not protected speech. Bizarre, but true.

But in the meantime, to the extent that “hate crimes” are current federal law, Sessions is pretty much stuck enforcing them. We can’t have him simply blowing off and ignoring laws he doesn’t like, even with good reason. That’s the sort of lawlessness we’d expect of the Obama-Holder Axis.

In this case, since a murder is involved, and Iowa state law is already equipped to handle homicides, the “hate crime” stuff seems superfluous. It does, however, both justify and probably mandate federal involvement. It all seems rather pointless, but nevertheless required.

    Boom. Excellent analysis.

    Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | October 17, 2017 at 3:33 am

    Wrong. Motive has always been a legitimate factor in sentencing. Hate crime laws properly recognize that a crime committed out of hatred for an entire community or sector is worse than one committed for some private motive, and deserves a harsher sentence.

    It is worse because it is an attack, not just on the immediate victim, but on the whole community or sector to which he or she belongs. They are all victims, and the sentence ought to reflect that.

    This is irrelevant when the crime is so serious that the penalty even without any aggravating factor is the maximum available. Bush was right to point out that Byrd’s murderers could only be executed once, and no hate crime law could change that. It is most relevant when dealing with what would otherwise be petty crimes; there is a huge difference between a graffitist tagging a warehouse and someone painting a swastika on a synagogue. The former deserves to be made to clean up his mess and do a few hours of community service; the latter did far more harm, so deserves to do time.

      tom_swift in reply to Milhouse. | October 17, 2017 at 9:27 am


        Milhouse in reply to tom_swift. | October 18, 2017 at 2:15 am

        You’re ridiculous. Do you deny that since the very beginnings of modern criminal justice motive has been a legitimate factor in sentencing?

      Semper Why in reply to Milhouse. | October 17, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Wouldn’t it make more sense to enact a “hate factor” in sentencing guidelines, rather than dream up a new class of law to violate?

      I’ve had several gay friends explain to me that hate crime legislation was drafted in order to bring federal charges for serious crimes when the local authorities would look the other way due to the sexual orientation of the victim. A way of bringing in supposedly neutral prosecutors to counteract local prejudice. It seemed pretty thin at the time, but I could at least understand that motivation.

      This new approach is still baffling to me. If you want to punish someone more for breaking the law out of bad motivations, let the judge take that into account. But an entire class of law just to punish motivation? Bizarre.

        Milhouse in reply to Semper Why. | October 18, 2017 at 2:13 am

        Wouldn’t it make more sense to enact a “hate factor” in sentencing guidelines, rather than dream up a new class of law to violate?

        What “new class of law”? What are you talking about? Hate crime laws do exactly what you just recommended: they require sentencing enhancements when the evidence proves that the crime’s motive was to strike fear in a whole community.

“Hate crime” = “thought crime.”

If the act is a crime, prosecute for the act. But to pile on extra charges based on what the State believes the actor was thinking?

Yeah, no. That’s creepy.

    Milhouse in reply to Amy in FL. | October 17, 2017 at 3:20 am

    No extra charges are being “piled on”. Motive has always been a legitimate factor in sentencing, and hate crime laws merely formalize that and make sure this motive, if present, is given full due.

      When the Federal government gets involved and presses “hate crime” charges of its own, which are extra charges which would not be brought unless Big Brother decides that Mr Murderer or Ms Arsonist is not just a murderer or an arsonist (State crimes) but a HATEY murderer or HATEY arsonist (Federal crime), well yes. Those are extra charges.

        Milhouse in reply to Amy in FL. | October 18, 2017 at 2:21 am

        When the Federal government gets involved and presses “hate crime” charges of its own,

        That does not happen.

        You seem to be referring not to hate crime laws but to civil rights laws. Which have been a normal part of our law since the 19th century. Depriving someone of their civil liberties because of their membership in a protected class is a federal crime, because the 14th amendment charges Congress with protecting people’s civil liberties when states fail to do so. Federal charges are not usually brought when state prosecution is successful.

Granny Clinton – who will NEVER be President of the United States of America – takes credit for this development in 3…2…1…

Once again, there’s no such thing as ‘transgendered’ people. Our species is divided into only two distinct categories: male & female. There is no 3rd category of human being.

Stop granting carte blanche to the Left’s perversion of language by adopting their terms.

How one chooses to behave or the debilitation caused by mental illness is another discussion altogether.

From the article: “No one has revealed the motive in the killing. (Des Moines County Attorney Amy) Beavers stated that the feds wanted to become involved because “they are investigating the case as a federal hate crime” and may bring charges of their own against Sanders-Galvez.”

The state of Iowa has the alleged perpetrator in custody. Iowa will prosecute him on 1st degree murder charges under state law. Murder us hateful by defimition. A troubled, fellow human being has been murdered, and I trust the state of Iowa to see that justice will be served. As such, I fail to see how or why the federal government has any concern in this matter – even if it involves an ‘I really, really dislike you’ crime.

    I thought the same thing, except to say if the DOJ did not insert itself, the MSM and the Liberal Congress would be screaming at the Trump Admin for not protecting all people. Think San Juan in terms of those optics.

    Joke goes something like this – IF I had a dollar for every gender, I’d have $2 and a bunch of counterfeits.

    Where’s the investigation into hildabeast and her server, eric holder and his contempt of congress, susan rice and her outing of DJT’s people and on and on and on?
    So far I’m disappointed in sessions.

Why is Sessions wasting time with this? (The state court will handle it just fine.)

Considering hillary clinton and her gang have committing more felonies in the past few years than sessions will otherwise prosecute in his AG career, WTF is wrong with this guy?

AG Session: Stop hitting softballs and start doing the work to make our justice system one-tier instead of the two-tier system it became under obama.

Enough vacationing as AG. Get to work, or resign.