Friday, May 16, 2008

HIV-Positive Man Gets 35 Years in Prison for Spitting

J told me about this story last night. He was noticeably upset by the ruling. I have to say I am too.

An HIV-positive man in Dallas was just convicted to 35 years in prison for spitting on a police officer during an arrest. The jury decided that his spit was a deadly weapon.

Never mind the fact that we learned long ago that saliva does not transmit HIV (unless there is some sort of blood involved due to a cut in the mouth). Never mind that had the man tried to punch the officer, which would have had a much higher chance of killing him, he would have gotten less time. This is like someone throwing a nerf ball at a cop as a prank and getting a life sentence.

Don't get me wrong--this guy should be punished for resisting arrest and spitting on an officer, but 35 years is something I can't even comprehend. Now the question is why (or how) this happened. Ignorance and prejudice are all that honestly come to mind for me. Hopefully someone will help get an appeal started.


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