A U.S. Marine’s Conviction In The Death Of A Philippine Trans Woman

A sad story and I hope Jennifer has found some peace. 😦 Pemberton certainly doesn’t deserve to get off as lightly as he has if there was evidence the two had intercourse. Clearly at that point he knew Jennifer was a transgender and he could’ve walked away, but he chose not to and then chose to kill her.

It’s close to midnight in early December on Waterfront Road in Olongapo, Philippines, which stretches along the water’s edge where U.S. military vessels dock. Dimly lit by yellow tungsten lamps, women’s figures in tight clothing — short dresses or body-hugging jeans — walk down the street, shadows covering their faces. The women tend to travel in small groups of two to six, as do larger figures that come into sight less frequently: foreign men, as it turns out, mostly white, a few black. There are rows of tiny lights on the ocean tonight, from a couple of U.S. military ships in the distance.

At the Olongapo Hall of Justice the afternoon before, U.S. Marine Lance Corporal Joseph Scott Pemberton was sentenced to six to twelve years in Philippine prison for killing Jennifer Laude, a trans Filipina sex worker, in October 2014. His sentence was downgraded from the usual 20 to 40 years for homicide under Philippine law, in part because Laude failed to disclose to Pemberton that she was trans.

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