Family of transgender woman slain by U.S. Marine in Philippines contests killer’s early release

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09/03/2020

A U.S. Marine convicted of killing a transgender woman in the Philippines will remain behind bars while a court considers an appeal against a decision to release him early, a senior government official said Thursday. Lance Cpl. Joseph Scott Pemberton on Tuesday was granted four years off his 10-year homicide sentence for good behavior by a regional trial court in Olongapo, the port city north of Manila where the crime occurred. The killing of Jennifer Laude drew widespread attention, in part because of the long-standing alliance between the Philippines and the United States and the taboo surrounding sex work. The decision to grant Pemberton early release sparked protests this week and rekindled concerns here about discrimination against the LGBTQ community and U.S. influence in local affairs.

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