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07 May 2012 @ 03:31 pm
My letter to the Governor of Minnesota  

Dear Governor Dayton,

Black transgender women face a very high murder rate in the United States.  Every year, the transgender community holds a vigil called the Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor those who have been murdered because of hatred.  Chrishaun CeCe McDonald has the right to be free from violence, and she has a right to defend herself.  She faces a recommended sentence of 41 months, and a lifetime record that will limit her opportunities in the future– all because she defended herself from an attack by a white supremacist.

If there is anyone who deserves a pardon, it is CeCe McDonald. She is the victim in this case, and she is not guilty of murder or manslaughter, only self-defense. Her conviction tells black and transgender people throughout the state and country that they will not be protected, and that their lives are not valued. Is this the message you want attributed to your legacy as governor?

Self-defense is not a crime, and surviving is not a crime. You must reverse this decision and pardon CeCe McDonald. That is true justice.

Sincerely,

Miles Lyons