Cruz Grills Biden Nominee Over Inmate Transfer

( – Texan Senator Ted Cruz questioned a Biden-nominated Judge about her decision to jail a serial rapist in a women’s prison. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn is under consideration for a position in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and faced a grilling by the Senate Judiciary Committee. During the hearing, Senator Cruz asked Netburn if her ideology influenced her judicial decisions, and she assured the Senator it did not.

Cruz told Netburn he did not believe her, however, and cited cases of imprisoned women and the clash of their rights with the gender-based requirements of convicted sexual abusers. The Texan reminded the judge that she had used the preferred pronouns of an offender who had raped a young boy and a teenage girl and had distributed a film depicting child abuse. He then asked to be housed in a women’s jail, which the judge allowed.

“Those other women in prison, do they have any rights?” Cruz asked. Netburn affirmed that the prisoners do have rights but insisted that the convict was not at risk of re-offending. Cruz dismissed the notion that a serial offender did not pose a risk.

Louisiana Senator John Kennedy also questioned Netburn’s decision to transfer William McClain, who uses the name July Justine Shelby, out of the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, New York, to a women’s facility. Based on Netburn’s recommendation, a US District Judge transferred the prisoner based on potential risks to his health and well-being. Netburn described him as “entirely female” in her recommendation.

William McClain was jailed in 1994 for two sex abuse offenses and, after serving 18 years, was released on parole. He violated his parole conditions and was sent back to prison in 2015. Two years later, he was rereleased, commenced hormone therapy, and began identifying as female. When he was sent back to jail for distributing sexual images of children, Netburn said it was in his interests to serve his time in a woman’s prison.

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