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Region: , Published: April 25, 2018  Updated: April 29, 2018 at 8:59 am EST

Jennifer Ann Jasmaine, a transgender who identifies as a wiccan is suing North Carolinas Lanesboro Correctional Institution for halting her practice of witchcraft.

She believes that those in charge of religious services at the prison are restricting what she says is her Constitutional right to practice Wicca, or witchcraft, while incarcerated.

Wicca is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as a religion influenced by practices of western Europe that affirms the existence of supernatural power (such as magic) and of both male and female deities who inhere in nature and that emphasizes ritual observance of seasonal and life cycles.

“Ms. Jasmaine’s religion is not just her religion. It’s her way of life,” her lawsuit says. “This is the path in which she has taken.”

Formerly Duanne Fox, Jasmaine was imprisoned in 2014 for a second degree sexual offense and sentenced to 16 years.

The Charlotte Observer reports,

“Public records indicate that Fox was held in the Mecklenburg County Jail for three months in 2015 on a federal probation violation and later sentenced to a year in prison. Fox challenged the punishment in the federal case to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, alleging that the trial judge did not give him a chance to speak at the sentencing hearing.

In its denial, the appeals court noted that the trial judge “was faced with a cantankerous, foul-mouthed defendant, who was threatening his probation officer at the hearing. In the context of this proceeding, we do not find that Fox’s 12-month sentence was plainly unreasonable.”

During her four years in the prison system, according to prison records, Jasmaine has been accused of 60 infractions, from lock tampering and disobeying orders to sex acts and threatening staff.”

Lanesboro Correctional Institute is one of the state’s four largest prisons, holding 1,800 inmates. The facility is known for its violence, corruption and savage attacks on prisoners and staff. Records show that Jasmaine came to the prison in late March. She filed her lawsuit three weeks later.

The lawsuit says she would like to be put on a vegan diet, practice more than the current eight wiccan festivals or Sabbaths that she’s currently allowed to hold, have outdoor services twice a week with lit candles, and access to the foods and clothing that are recommended during each pagan festival.

In addition, Jasmaine is requesting prison officials provide her wiccan regalia such as the Wicca holy text known as “The Book of Shadows,” a wand, Tarot cards, runes, candles, a bell and a black robe, among many other items.

Among the eight rituals that Jasmaine practices is Beltane and the midsummer rites for which she requires vanilla ice cream, oatmeal cakes, and dried fruits. With Jasmine’s crimes being of a sexual nature, the prison should be concerned as both of the rituals she has specified in her lawsuit are fueled by eroticism and sex magic.

The Bible warns against such practices in Galatians 5:19-21
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

According to state policy, North Carolina prisons “shall provide access for approved religious services or practices and pastoral care.” Participation is voluntary, and “no inmate shall be subjected to coercion, harassment, or ridicule due to religious affiliation.”

Works Cited

Michael Gordon. “Transgender inmate sues to practice witchcraft at notorious all-male N.C. prison.” The Charlotte Observer. . (2018): . . http://bit.ly/2I4YxEt

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