(NECN: Greg Wayland) - It began with attorneys for transgender Massachusetts inmate and convicted murderer Michelle Kosilek, formerly Robert Kosilek, arguing for additional state-funded electrolysis to remove their client's unwanted facial hair.
This would be prefatory to a full-blown, as-yet-unscheduled, state-funded surgical sex change, ordered this past September by U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf, who was hearing the day's motions.
But by afternoon, Wolf was threatening Department of Correction officials with contempt for what he suspects is their foot-dragging in making preparations for that surgery.
His obvious impatience burst out as DOC lawyers argued for a stay pending an appeal of his ruling.
"I know I've ordered something that's unpopular and misunderstood," Wolf told DOC attorneys. “But unless the order is reversed, it has to be obeyed.
During an appeal, he called for monthly DOC progress reports.
Kosilek's attorneys were also requesting that all court references to Kosilek, even prior to his operation, be in the female pronoun.
But, using the male pronoun, Wolf said more than once that his ruling was based on his belief that Kosilek was seriously mentally ill, and had the anguished belief that "he" was a female trapped in a male body.
Meanwhile, DOC Chief of Psychiatry Dr. Robert Diener, pressed by Kosilek attorney Fran Cohen, said he deemed the convicted wife-murderer's request for more than his six electrolysis sessions as medically unnecessary, believing topical hair remover and shaving were adequate.
Wolf said he would likely grant the DOC request for a stay of his order, would likely deny the request for additional electrolysis and was considering Kosilek's request that the state pick up the $800,000 tab for his court-appointed attorney, saying both sides had performed very well during an "incredibly difficult case."