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(NECN: Justin Michaels) - A federal appeals court will hear arguments this morning about the taxpayer-funded sex change of convicted murderer Michelle Kosilek.
Kosilek was born a man and eventually married as Robert Kosilek.
He was found guilty of first-degree murder in 1993 for killing his wife Cheryl Kosilek in 1990 and dumping her body at the Emerald Square Mall in North Attleborough, Mass.
The state is appealing a Sept. 2012 ruling by U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ordering the state to pay for a sex-change surgery for Kosilek.
The ruling by Judge Wolf said that, for Kosilek, who suffers from gender identity disorder, the only adequate treatment would be the surgery.
The judge said by not offering the surgery, the court would be in violation of Kosilek's 8th amendment rights protecting against cruel and unusual punishment.
However, the state prison system says they have major concerns about protecting Kosilek in prison if the surgery is granted.
The appeals hearing is set for 9:30 on Apr. 2.