On July 9, 2020, DOJ Pride held a virtual brown bag event with two prosecutors in the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division. The presenters discussed their work in 2016 and 2017 prosecuting Joshua Vallum for the assault and murder of Mercedes Williamson, a 17-year-old transgender woman. This was the first case ever prosecuted under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act involving a victim targeted on the basis of gender identity.
We thank everyone who attended, as well as Sheldon Beer and Julia Gegenheimer for taking the time to talk to us about their important work on the Vallum case.