“Inner Conflict”: Mosque Bomber Argues For Lower Sentence Due to Gender Dysphoria

We often follow novel or new arguments raised in criminal cases and one such defense has arisen in the case of a defendant convicted of bombing a Minnesota mosque in 2017. Michael Hari, 50, has asked the court to recognize his status as a transgender woman named Emily Claire Hari. She further asks for the minimum sentence due to the “inner conflict” caused by his gender dysphoria.  That is the first such argument that I have seen in a criminal case.

Hari bombed the Dar al-Farooq (DAF) Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota, on Aug. 5, 2017.  She is also the founder of the militia group and Heavy details her history of arrests (including abducting her daughters) and her curious enterprises (like making a bid to build the Southern wall).  She also was a deputy sheriff and ran for sheriff as a libertarian.  She belonged to a community that dressed “plain” like the Amish and became radicalized as a “three percenter” militia member.

After a five-week trial, Hari was convicted on all five counts of the indictment, including intentionally defacing, damaging and destroying any religious real property because of the religious character of that property; intentionally obstructing, and attempting to obstruct, by force and the threat of force, the free exercise of religious beliefs; conspiracy to commit federal felonies by means of fire and explosives; carrying and using a destructive device during and in relation to crimes of violence; and possession of an unregistered destructive device.

Hari is now asking for no more than 30 years in prison — rather than life in prison. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, public defender Shannon Elkins details that, as Hari was planning attacks and militia meetings, she was secretly researching gender change information:

“She strongly desired making a full transition but knew she would be ostracized from everyone and everything she knew. Thus, as she formed a ragtag group of freedom fighters or militia men and spoke of missions to Cuba and Venezuela, Ms. Hari secretly looked up ‘sex change,’ ‘transgender surgery’ and ‘post-op transgender’ on the internet. As she purchased military fatigues for their ‘missions,’ she also purchased dresses and female clothing for a planned trip to Bangkok, Thailand, for male-to-female surgery. She was living a double life.

…Emily Hari is more than a one-note caricature. She is a complex human being who has been convicted by a jury of her peers. She will stand before this court for sentencing, facing life in prison. She asks the court to consider a sentence that is just and proportionate rather than vindictive or symbolic.”

As a fellow criminal defense attorney, I respect the effort of Elkins to zealously pursue any reduction in the sentencing for Hari.  This is an exceptionally difficult case. However, I am skeptical that a court will likely weigh the dysphoria heavily in the sentencing. Indeed, I expect that the transgender community might have mixed feelings about such a claim.

Gender dysphoria is defined as “psychological distress that results from an incongruence between one’s sex assigned at birth and one’s gender identity. Though gender dysphoria often begins in childhood, some people may not experience it until after puberty or much later.”  The suggestion that gender dysphoria would prompt such extreme violent and anti-social conduct is likely to be rejected by many in this community.

From a practice standpoint, I am not sure how the court can take “judicial notice” of such a claim. Before a court embraces such a claim, it would need to be confident of the scientific or medical basis. Most courts would want to hear from experts on both sides before relying on the claim.

Hari is set to be sentenced next month.


27 thoughts on ““Inner Conflict”: Mosque Bomber Argues For Lower Sentence Due to Gender Dysphoria”

  1. HE. Stop encouraging these people with their clear mental illness by calling them something they are not.

    if I say I identify as a crocodile are you going to refer to me as crocodile or simply think I am crazy? What if I say as a white person I identify as a black person? Do I now count as a black person? It’s not different than gender dysphoria which is a mental illness. Everyone that plays along with it should be ashamed they are encouraging the mental illness of people rather than telling them to seek help.

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  3. Ok, so which is it: is gender dysphoria normal or a form of insanity that lets you get away with crimes and have a lighter sentence because of such (simple emotional or existential confusion, presuming overall sanity, is not sufficient to avoid the consequences of actions, legally)? Sounds like the court may be about to make that distinction. If it is legally declared the latter, that could throw the biggest monkey wrench into woke ideology on a practical level we have yet seen through a precedent few have considered. Given how the woke fools in our society have set things up for themselves, they may be about to all be declared legally insane, as ordained by an actual court. This particularlawyer may have just stepped into the biggest of 21st century legal cow pies, and it’s too late to take it back.

    1. The argument they (in this case the defense, but others such as the defense in the Manning case) is that the identification with a gender other than that physically and genetically manifest is not in itself pathological; the pathology arises from the frustration that arises out of the mismatch. They might then argue that if the mismatch is corrected, the pathology will go away. Not that I believe this argument, but it is more complicated than just associating the violence directly with the gender identity issue.

    1. Violent male criminals have figured out they can get more lenient sentences and sent to women’s prisons for much easier stays if they simply claim to be transgender. When these men are sent to women’s prisons, this puts the female prisoners in “cruel and unusual punishment” situations. No female should be incarerated with any male, no matter what he claims to be, especially considering many of these males are violent and the women have nowhere to run or hide while incarerated. Feminists have been shouting into the void for years, pointing out that men being able to legally self-identify as women is dangerous and would lead to situations just like this, but as we have seen in women’s athletics, very few people seem to care what happens to women, whether in prisons, sports, or locker rooms and bathrooms. Very few seem concerned that transgender self-ID means women are no longer treated fairly and with dignity, and their safety is no longer properly guarded when using the bathroom or dressing/undressing.

  4. This excuse is as bad as the lawyers excuse for the willfully ignorant when they tried to stop the constitutional duty of our elected officials on January 6th. Throw everything and anything up against the wall, for a excuse for illegal and deadly behavior.

    1. Fishy:

      ” … for a excuse for illegal and deadly behavior.”
      Oh and who died? When you figure that out, you’ll understand why we hold you in the regard that we do.

  5. Also, where is this person going to be housed. Hari could have a very difficult time in the general population. On the other hand, someone with a background in abducting girls, bombing a mosque, and living out a fantasy of soldier of fortune, biologically male, could make life very difficult for women in a women’s prison. Non PC question, but there it is.

    1. Karen,

      I read that since California adopted the practice of transferring non-surgical M to F declared transsexuals to women’s prisons there has been an inexplicable rise in pregnancies in women’s prisons.

      I am sure Newsom and his staff find it very puzzling.

      1. -Young,
        I saw a picture in an article about a Women’s Rights Group, who were trying to bring the situation to public light.
        The picture was of a former “male” who now gender identifies as a “woman.” He/she was 6’3″ and 230lbs.
        They also noted an increase in physical violence against the biologically females and reports of rape.

        1. Yes, women’s rights groups have been trying to shed light on the ways that “trans rights” infringe upon women’s rights, but the people in power keep saying that males like the subject of the above piece “would never” go so far as to claim to be transgender to receive lenient prison sentences, get transferred to women’s prisons where they have a population of sitting ducks to prey upon, enter women’s changing and showering areas in piblic buildings or gyms, insist upon competing in women’s sports despite being male, etc. etc. etc. There is even a man in Wisconsin (google Vica Steele) who is an elementary school teacher and who is claiming his right to use the girls’ (students!!!) bathrooms rather than the women’s staff bathrooms. So this 50-something grown-ass man is in the bathroom alongside kindergarten girls whose parents are not present. A man (google Emilia Decaudin) in NYC took an elected district leader political position that was created to ensure female participation in politics. Women keep being told that incidences like these “will never happen” but every day there is evidence that not only will they happen, they are already happening. Yet the males’ “right” to infringe upon women’s and girls’ spaces and sports wins – and all the men have to do is claim to be a woman.

        2. –Upstate

          Yes, I would expect that not all of the pregnant prisoners in California were impregnated voluntarily. I assumed rape would often be a factor.

          Despite the official theme that these are truly women who belong in a prison for women, have you noticed that these same folks are not demanding that Female to Male transsexuals be housed in male prisons? We know what would happen to them there though they won’t discuss it…mars the narrative.

          People seem to have gone completely insane.

          1. -Young,
            Agreed and well said.
            They may be criminals, but those women do not deserve to be preyed upon by some sicko exploiting a loophole.

            Whatever happened to common sense?
            Or common decency?

            1. Upstate: “Whatever happened to common sense?
              Or common decency?”


              That is what I have been asking myself for the last several years and I have no answer. Yet it seems everything is getting less sensible, less decent and less humane. Biden laughed when he was asked about people trapped in Afghanistan. I think even most senile people wouldn’t find that funny, but he revealed that he really doesn’t care a bit about their distress. He cares about ice cream.

  6. (OT)

    Taliban Puppets

    The Biden administration are puppets, with strings pulled by Medieval savages (the Taliban). The result? Americans as fodder in the barbaric practice of human sacrifices.

    This is humiliating.

    1. “Half a year after the “adults” supposedly took charge and “brought diplomacy back,” our relationship with the G7 lies in ruins, our best friends are seething with rage, fascist China is taunting those who rely on our protection, and terrorists are dictating our foreign policy.”

  7. O brave new world that has such people in it

    Will they sentence the culprit to a men’s or women’s prison? Or can I not use those terms any longer?

  8. Baloney. He is just doing what anybody would do if they thought it would be easier in prison to not get raped by the other inmates.

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