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Transgender Bank Robber Gets Light Sentence from Sympathetic Judge

Linda Thompson
Oregon Department of Corrections/AP

Linda Thompson, a transgender woman, received a six-year sentence after robbing a Wyoming bank in order to return to prison.

Linda Thompson, a 59-year-old transgender woman who robbed a Wyoming bank in an attempt to be sent back to prison, recieved a six-year sentence in a federal woman's prison-far less than the typical sentence of 20 years.

"No one really wants you to die in prison," U.S. District Judge Nancy Freudenthal said. "There's more out there than hanging out in custody."

Thompson had previously spent time in Idaho, Washington, and Oregon prisons for similar crimes. She told the court that she had intended to get work as a truck driver after being released from prison in June, but faced difficulties securing the proper documentation for a commercial driver's license.

In 2007, Thompson was featured in a documentary, Cruel and Unusual, which documented the problems facing transgender women forced to serve in men's prisons. According to the film, she similarly struggled to find work dressed as a woman before she was driven to sell stolen scrap wire, which landed her in an Idaho prison that denied her hormone treatments.

"I wasn't on my medication so I was really getting into the suicidal thoughts," she said in the documentary. "I intentionally got myself arrested and sent back to prison, so I would get back on my medication."

During her recent custody, Thompson has been recieving hormone treatments due to self-castration when she was previously incarcerated.

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