This past July, Indiana passed a law that essentially bans the use of state or federal dollars to help transition inmates who identify as transgender. The lawsuit from the ACLU has been filed on behalf of Autumn Cordellioné, also known as Jonathan C. Richardson, who murdered his 11-month-old stepdaughter in 2001. According to Reduxx, Richardson had told police at the time that he found the infant “unresponsive” after doing household chores, but his story changed dramatically after several interviews until he eventually confessed to violently shaking the baby to handle her fussiness:
At first, Richardson claimed he found the baby unresponsive after doing some household chores. But in the next interview, Richardson said the child was being “fussier than usual” and he attempted to throw her up in the air repeatedly in an effort to calm her down. He said her “head bopped forward and back up in a rough type of a manner,” and that the child continued to cry so he proceeded to shake her aggressively in an effort to calm her down.
During a failed appeals hearing, detectives from the case recounted how Richardson “physically showed” how he had manhandled the girl, getting up out of his chair and demonstrating the action in a rough manner.
An autopsy subsequently found that the baby had died of asphyxiation by manual strangulation.
The ACLU has launched a legal complaint against the Indiana Department of Corrections on behalf of a transgender inmate they say was denied “gender affirming” surgeries.
While awaiting his eventual court hearing, Richardson reportedly told a prison official, “all I know is I killed the little fucking bitch.” He was subsequently sentenced to 55 years in prison.
In 202o, Richardson began identifying as transgender and changed his name to Autumn. The ACLU has claimed in its lawsuit that the state of Indiana’s refusal to pay for his gender surgery shows a “deliberate indifference to a serious medical need.” The lawsuit further claims that the policy from the state of Indiana “discriminates … in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”
In the case of Richardson, the ACLU referred to him as “she” and stressed that “gender-affirming surgery is necessary so that her physical identity can be aligned with her gender identity.” The ACLU even went further to say that he has “identified as a female” since the age of six.