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I was perturbed by this recent MSNBC headline: "Texan Gets 45 Years in Prison for Spreading HIV."

At first, I thought perhaps the man had gone around injecting people with the virus. That would certainly be a horrendous crime, right?

But no. This man has received 45 years in prison for having unprotected sex. Apparently, bodily fluids can now be considered a deadly weapon.

(cross posted at The Perimeter Progressive)

The man, Phillipe Padieu, age 53, was described by his own attorney as a "modern day Casanova." He infected six women with HIV by having unprotected sex with them. Prosecutors argued that Padieu’s bodily fluids were a deadly weapon because they contained HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. As a result, Padieu will be going away for assault with a deadly weapon.

I agree that people who purposely deceive their sexual partners regarding their sexual history and/or health are despicable and deserve some sort of punishment. But is it really the role of government to mete out such punishments? Since when is lying about sex against the law? Do we now have full disclosure requirements before engaging in one night stands?

More importantly, what about those six women that Mr. Padieu infected? Are they really "victims"? They made the conscious decision to have unprotected sex with a man. In today’s world, there is no excuse for engaging in unsafe sex. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for your entire life, there is virtually no chance that you are unaware of the risks of STDs, particularly HIV/AIDS. So use a condom, people!

Yes, accidents happen. Yes, condoms break. But what are the odds that SIX condoms broke with SIX different women? This guy would have to be the unluckiest guy in the world for that to happen. Which leads me to believe that the guy used his "Casanova" skills to persuade these women to forgo protection. That is reprehensible, to be sure. But is it assault?

Please don’t misunderstand me. I am in no way insensitive to the plight of those living with AIDS, and I am not trying to say that AIDS victims deserve to have such an awful disease.  What I am saying is that people who have unprotected sex, regardless of the circumstances, need to take responsibility for the consequences.

What this man did was wrong. But his sexual partners are not blameless, and they are certainly not victims of assault with a deadly weapon.

This decision sets a dangerous precedent. What the court has basically said is that anyone who knowingly transmits a deadly disease is guilty of assault with a deadly weapon, and that anyone who chooses to have unprotected sex and contracts a deadly disease as a result is blameless. Bad idea, guys.

I'm also worried that the court has also basically said that someone with HIV/AIDS can be considered a deadly weapon - this could be used by those seeking to justify discrimination against those with HIV/AIDS.

If this stands...well just think about some of these questions:

-Are you allowed to enter the USA going through Customs with a deadly weapon?
-Can you be arrested for walking down the street concealing a deadly weapon?
-What is someone with HIV gets into a bloody car accident, no fault of their own.  If there is, God forbid, some contact, could they be thrown in jail for assault with a deadly weapon?

Update [2009-5-30 16:3:7 by Perimeter Progressive]: - I am not saying that the guy should walk free.  However, assault with a deadly weapon?  We should lock up anyone with the flu then.  

Update #2 : I just want to draw everyone attention to this very eloquent comment by ElsieElsie

Originally posted to Perimeter Progressive on Sat May 30, 2009 at 11:44 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tipjar (3+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    moodyx, Sportin Life, slowbutsure
    Hidden by:
    debedb, Brother Love

    I still can't believe it - assault with a deadly weapon?!?

    The Perimeter Progressive - Metro Atlanta Progressives http://perimeterprogressive.wordpress.com

    by Perimeter Progressive on Sat May 30, 2009 at 11:45:30 AM PDT

  •  This guy absolutely deserved to go to jail (30+ / 0-)

    He knew he had HIV and deliberately infected those women.  That is called criminal act.  The decision was 100% correct.  It is no different than someone deliberately injecting with a needle others with HIV infected blood.  The only difference is in the delivery method.

  •  Most states have disclosure laws (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, Nulwee, impygirl

    For example, it is illegal in many states, if you are HIV positive and you know it, to have sex without disclosing it to your partner.  In California, I think using a condom absolves you of criminal liability.

    But this case is a bit different.  It reminds me of the early "attempted murder" prosecutions for HIV+ prisoners who spat on guards.  I'm assuming there will be an appeal.

    What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

    by Alec82 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 11:50:47 AM PDT

    •  I hope there will be (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AaronInSanDiego, sberel, capelza, Alec82

      but I saw something about the defense attorney arguing that he should get 20 years in jail, so I don't know if he'll appeal or not

      The Perimeter Progressive - Metro Atlanta Progressives http://perimeterprogressive.wordpress.com

      by Perimeter Progressive on Sat May 30, 2009 at 11:53:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well he argued that at sentencing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego, capelza

        That doesn't mean that he won't appeal the conviction and sentence.  

        What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

        by Alec82 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 11:56:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  stand corrected (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AaronInSanDiego, capelza, Alec82

          good point.

          The Perimeter Progressive - Metro Atlanta Progressives http://perimeterprogressive.wordpress.com

          by Perimeter Progressive on Sat May 30, 2009 at 11:57:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I doubt the defense attorney will appeal (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          capelza, skohayes

          They guy totally and willfully destroyed their attempts at a defense. He took the stand against their advice, and then proceeded to make himself look about as bad as he possible could - along with blaming the women, blaming the courts, and blaming the world that has always victimized him

          Padieu's attorneys appeared resigned to his decision to testify, showing in court that they had advised him against it. Throughout the approximately 80 minutes of his testimony, Padieu sparred with his own attorney Bennie House.

          "You're working for me, aren't you?" Padieu asked.

          "I'm working for you," House replied. "I can't if you keep interrupting me."

          House told the court he had a list of questions that Padieu requested he be asked. But many of his rambling answers were cut short by the judge on procedural grounds.

          Padieu claimed there was a "gag order on justice" in his case, saying certain records of e-mails and medical histories had not been provided to the defense.

          "I can't produce records that aren't there," an exasperated House said. Throughout his testimony Padieu said he was frequently victimized, including when he received a dishonorable discharge from the Navy and when he was convicted of armed robbery on a Virginia naval base.

          http://www.dallasnews.com/...

          "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

          by Catte Nappe on Sat May 30, 2009 at 03:36:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Are they really "victims"? (18+ / 0-)

    &nbsp

    Are you kidding me? That has to be one of the sickest questions I've ever read. Yes, they're victims. They decided to have sex. They didn't volunteer to have AIDS.

    What if he'd said to each of them after sex, "Congratulations! You now have AIDS!"? Would you feel any different then? Because he might just as well have said just that.

    He knew he had HIV/AIDS and had unprotected sex without informing his partners. He knew what he was doing and did it anyways. Jail is the right place for him.

    You're getting carried away with the crap at the end of your post. Perhaps you might want to catch yourself on.

    No tips or recs for you and your sick attitude.

     

    Let the record be corrected: the 43rd President of the United States of America was Dick 'Dick' Cheney

    by DiegoUK on Sat May 30, 2009 at 11:54:21 AM PDT

  •  If you knowngly infect people (16+ / 0-)

    with a deadly infection, it's much the same as poisoning them.The "stupidity" of the victims are not mitigating circumstances.

  •  This guy should go to jail (4+ / 0-)

    If a person willingly transfers HIV to someone via unprotected sex then that is a crime.

  •  You can't just go (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, emsprater, Korinthios

    around willfully killing six people.

    Last time I checked that was a crime.

    "ENOUGH!" - President Barack Hussein Obama

    by indiemcemopants on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:01:46 PM PDT

  •  If, as you said... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Perimeter Progressive

    bodily fluids can now be considered a deadly weapon

    Then people who spread flu viruses from their bodily fluids, which can kill people, must fall into the same "deadly weapon" category?

    •  Well, I'm sure if someone knew they had (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, Bluerall

      the flu and then went around to nursing homes coughing, they would be charged with a similar offense.

      In both cases, it's wanton neglect and public endangerment and, yes, assault with a deadly weapon.

      "Ambrose...Just stop it now ! Your intellect is just to overpowering and opressive for us average bloggers"

      by AmbroseBurnside on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:16:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      capelza, ladybug53, doc superdog

      I served on a jury of a guy who was charged because he spat on a police officer in the patrol car. There's a specific statue here in Colorado for using bodily fluids as a weapon against a peace officer in a jail or equivalent setting. Evidently the origin was prison guards getting the "Silence of the Lambs" missile flung at them by HIV positive inmates.

      Smiting trolls on the tubes since 1977!

      by blue aardvark on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:19:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm about to get on a plane (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doc superdog

      so what if I had swine flu, still got on the plane, and infected people - could I be charged with assault with a deadly weapon?  

      Even if they didn't die from it, would it still be assault?  Should we start quarantining everyone with a possibly lethal disease?

      The Perimeter Progressive - Metro Atlanta Progressives http://perimeterprogressive.wordpress.com

      by Perimeter Progressive on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:37:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the dfifference has a GREAT deal to do with HOW (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2, capelza

        unlike the flu or Tb, hiv is a blood-borne pathogen for which there is no cure if the person who is exposed to the pathogen becomes infected.

        it is more than nuance.

        _______________

        Don't confuse them with facts. They have stereotypes on their side. (rserven)

        by dadanation on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:51:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  if there's a cure for the flu (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Econaut

          then that's news to me.

          I'm pretty sure more Americans die from the flu every year than AIDS.

          The Perimeter Progressive - Metro Atlanta Progressives http://perimeterprogressive.wordpress.com

          by Perimeter Progressive on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:56:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that's not the point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vcmvo2

            are you intentionally conflating two completely different issues here because it somehow makes your point seem right?

            hiv is a blood-borne pathogen and requires such for transmission.  

            think about it.

            the degree of intimacy required for hiv infection is quite different to that of say the flu or Tb.

            blood-borne pathogens are not the same as air-borne pathogens.

            _______________

            Don't confuse them with facts. They have stereotypes on their side. (rserven)

            by dadanation on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:12:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  ok (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              doc superdog

              I'm not seeing why the point of HIV transmission requires intimacy as a legal basis for charging him with assault with a deadly weapon over someone with the flu.  

              The Perimeter Progressive - Metro Atlanta Progressives http://perimeterprogressive.wordpress.com

              by Perimeter Progressive on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:13:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I don't see the difference either. n/t (0+ / 0-)
              •  I'm only speculating (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                SeattleLiberal

                on dada's intent but I would guess the difference to be based on the ease of transmission of one vs the other.  Although it can be deadly, I don't believe the average person who may or may not know they have the flu really thinks they are endangering the life of another by being in their presence.  The choice of having sex on the part of the knowingly infected is much more deliberative.

                To put it on a similar level, I would think the flu person would have to have gone to the doctor,been told that the strain of flu he has is life threatening to him and others, went on the plane anyway and wiped his used tissues over the face of his seat mate or spit in the guy's coffee while he was in the lavatory.

              •  part of it (0+ / 0-)

                is that I believe he actively lied about his status.

                Hey, you guys lost. It's supposed to taste like a s**t taco. -- Jon Stewart

                by lostboyjim on Sat May 30, 2009 at 09:49:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Are you really this obtuse? (0+ / 0-)

            HIV is a vastly different dz than H1N1. Flu is cleared from a body completely. HIV...not so much.

            Most people that transmit flu have no idea that they have it. Airports also did not let people with fevers fly during the recent outbreak to reduce the chance of transmission.

            There are vaccines and antivirals that are readily available for the flu and once the disease is cleared it IS NOT A DEATH SENTENCE.

            If someone was told that they were carrying a deadly, airborn pathogen and they got on a plane anyway, then I believe they could face consequences as well.

            How you seem completely incapable of recognizing the difference here is beyond me.

  •  What is the infection rate for unprotected sex (5+ / 0-)

    by a woman, with a man who is HIV positive? I think it's better than 1%.

    What would you want to have happen to someone who ran through a crowd spraying people with infectious material?

    Don't confuse sexual freedom with assault. This guy committed sexual assault. I think he should be charged with rape, because it is very unlikely any of these women would have consented to unprotected sex had they known of his health status. Consent obtained through deceit is not consent.

    Smiting trolls on the tubes since 1977!

    by blue aardvark on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:14:47 PM PDT

    •  Fraudulent consent is hard to prove (0+ / 0-)

      I'm sure that's the reason that theory, if it is even available in Texas, wasn't used.  

      But they also avoided a slam dunk failure to disclose case.  I think they were more concerned with sentencing options than anything else (just speculation on my part).

      What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

      by Alec82 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:33:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's hard to prove (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Alec82

        if it is "he said - she said". When it's "he said - she and she and she and she and she and she said" it is more provable.

        Smiting trolls on the tubes since 1977!

        by blue aardvark on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:43:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  oh, sure (0+ / 0-)

          But I'm not even certain that TX criminalizes sex if it is obtained under false pretenses.  I somehow doubt it.

          What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

          by Alec82 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:49:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Actually.... (0+ / 0-)

          ...I think it would just be more difficult to persuade a jury on that theory.  Assuming it is criminalized, the multiple victims would make it relatively easy to prove.

          What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

          by Alec82 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:50:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  my guess is that he admitted to (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            vcmvo2, Alec82, ElsieElsie

            not having disclosed his hiv status to the women.

            io wish there was a bit more detail to the story -- all we know is that he countered with the fact that some of the women had "multiple partners" as if their sexual proclivities were causal as opposed tom incidental.

            it sounds like some of the women seroconverted.

            _______________

            Don't confuse them with facts. They have stereotypes on their side. (rserven)

            by dadanation on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:54:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's legal reporting for you (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dadanation, ElsieElsie

              Always horrible. :)

              Past evidence of their sexual proclivities would have been pretty limited by the shield laws.  But I do think that a few women seroconverted, judging by the link of another poster (and he also flat out denied he was HIV+).  

              When I was in undergrad my senior thesis was on the nondisclosure statutes.  I have mixed feelings.  

              What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

              by Alec82 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:01:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  BTW... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dadanation

              What do you think of the nondisclosure statutes? To the extent that they exist at all, I rather like CA's position.  

              What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.

              by Alec82 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:06:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i think hiv-specific laws are unnecessary (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Alec82, ElsieElsie

                reckless endangerment laws i contend are sufficient.

                as you know, there is stigma associated with the culling out of hiv in stand-alone legislation.

                i could write a lot on this topic but i actually have to go to a memorial now of a friend.

                i'll check back later when i am home.

                sad day.

                _______________

                Don't confuse them with facts. They have stereotypes on their side. (rserven)

                by dadanation on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:15:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  What is seroconverted? - n/t (0+ / 0-)
    •  I do agree with you here - (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yet another liberal

      I think that your line of reasoning about it not being consensual would have been the right way to prosecute this instead of assault with a deadly weapon.

      The Perimeter Progressive - Metro Atlanta Progressives http://perimeterprogressive.wordpress.com

      by Perimeter Progressive on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:45:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Life in prison or death penalty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn

    The guy knowingly had sex with countless women while infected with our generations version of plague.  Its pathological.

    Jail is honestly too good for him.

  •  From one of his victims (12+ / 0-)

    "I'll never forget how cold you were when I was saying, 'This disease is going to kill me.' And I was crying and begging for some explanation from you. And all you could say was, 'Well, everyone's going to die of something,'" said "Susan Brown."

    Full story here.

    He deserves the time...

    Adopt a homeless cat and have a friend for life

    by dave1042 on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:18:43 PM PDT

    •  Reminds me of "Patient Zero" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HiBob, dave1042

      the airline attendant who brought AIDS to California. One of his friends spoke of how he would have sex after getting a penicillin shot for clap, before the penicillin could take effect, using the words "Somebody gave it to me".

      Smiting trolls on the tubes since 1977!

      by blue aardvark on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:21:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  patient zero is a canard (0+ / 0-)

        and was disproven about the same time that randy shilts published and the band played on.  sadly though, the myth of gaetan dugas ("patient zero") has survived even though dugas did not.

        _______________

        Don't confuse them with facts. They have stereotypes on their side. (rserven)

        by dadanation on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:56:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, and no (0+ / 0-)

          Patient Zero

          Dugas may not have single-handedly brought AIDS to California. However, he probably did behave as described wrt gonorrhea.

          Smiting trolls on the tubes since 1977!

          by blue aardvark on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:08:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  dugas did not bring HIV to california (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza

            his behavior with Gc or any other STD aside, he is not patient zero.

            there is no patient zero.

            someone had to infect him.

            plus while he showed up on several of the epi-sex maps, he was by no means the sole or only or exclusive match across the clusters.

            ijn our epi data in sf there are cases of full-blown aids which predate when dugas was even here in sf.

            _______________

            Don't confuse them with facts. They have stereotypes on their side. (rserven)

            by dadanation on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:18:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not worried about patient zero (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza

              My point was, and remains, that some people with STD feel that its OK to pass the disease on, because after all, someone infected them. Dugas is an example.

              I appreciate your efforts to educate me and I don't want to perpetuate myths regarding HIV.

              Smiting trolls on the tubes since 1977!

              by blue aardvark on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:22:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Patient zero (0+ / 0-)

        is a well-propagated myth.

        Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

        by ElsieElsie on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:09:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As discussed above (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ElsieElsie

          I'm learning ... I'm learning ...

          Randy Shilts did a good job of selling that story, though. The sexual superman who destroyed thousands of lives. It was such a convenient story I should have suspected it was false.

          Smiting trolls on the tubes since 1977!

          by blue aardvark on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:24:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We have learned a lot of things since we lost (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            capelza

            Randy Shilts. He wrote an excellent book which I have yet to bring myself to read.

            Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

            by ElsieElsie on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:42:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The current theory (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              capelza, ElsieElsie

              about AIDS entering the US through Haiti lends itself to the wingnuts just as well, though. Racism + immigration + teh gay in one neat package.

              Smiting trolls on the tubes since 1977!

              by blue aardvark on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:48:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It also inflames (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                capelza

                those who decry racism in the theory that HIV may have entered the US with black people, regardless of the evidence supporting it.

                It's one of those theories that's unpleasant in a number of ways.

                Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

                by ElsieElsie on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:49:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No one ever said (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ElsieElsie

                  that a reality-based worldview was pleasant.

                  That's why people want to believe the government cooked HIV up at Ft. Detrick or that HIV doesn't cause AIDS or what have you. For whatever reason, believing in CT makes people feel powerful. I think it's the whole "hidden knowledge" bit - "We chosen few know the truth".

                  Smiting trolls on the tubes since 1977!

                  by blue aardvark on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:56:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  chosen few and our own reality (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ElsieElsie

                    Understanding the norms of a specialized science, where molecular biology meets epidemiology, for example, may be a lot harder than just believing in some evil hidden conspiracy. Some assertions about the HIV virus and AIDS are about as solid as biology gets, if you have the background to understand the research. If you don't have that background, it does become an exercise in faith. In the case of HIV, faith that the research process produces successively better models (or useful descriptions) of how the virus originated and spread and how it hijacks and overwhelms the human immune system. Either way you're believing in an elite with special knowledge and powers. Just the CT believers think that an elite is trying to hide the truth from them. Whereas other scientists tend recognize that hiding such a hideous truth wouldn't work in their own field, so they doubt their colleagues could sustain any long-term deception.

            •  randy was a good man (0+ / 0-)

              his stunning reporting of the epidemic YEARS before anyone would touch it still stands as a landmark achievement for a newspaper reporter.

              his three books also are quite amazing (mayor of castro street, and the band played on and conduct unbecoming).

              and there were flaws in and the band played on particularly when it came to the emphasis on gaetan dugas.

              however, what randy did get right, to a t, was the manner in which causal indifference and intentional ignorancwe and ego and homophobia and racism and hatred of drug users allowed the epidemic to spread across the US.

              he also chronicles the acts of heroism by many which helped keep hiv from becoming even worse than it already was and is (like bobbi campbell, bill krauss, jim curran, and even a new rep from san francisco, nancy pelosi).

              _______________

              Don't confuse them with facts. They have stereotypes on their side. (rserven)

              by dadanation on Sat May 30, 2009 at 04:38:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  he's a real POS! (9+ / 0-)

      Although she didn't realize it until after he was arrested in 2007, one victim said she went with Padieu to the 2005 doctor's appointment when he was informed he was HIV-positive. She waited in the parking lot for him until he returned.  Then, she said he looked her straight in the eye and said he was "negative."

      abcnews.com

      "He's like any other president -- he's a politician and he's got to do what politicians do." Rev. Jeremiah Wright

      by PhillyGal on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:30:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No disagreements (0+ / 0-)

      that he deserves time.  He's a scumbag.

      But really - assault with a deadly weapon?  

      The Perimeter Progressive - Metro Atlanta Progressives http://perimeterprogressive.wordpress.com

      by Perimeter Progressive on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:39:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I vote guilty as charged (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, Brother Love, aggie98

    Without a doubt.  And yes, they are victims, dude.  Piss me off.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to justify invading Iraq.

    by yet another liberal on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:32:27 PM PDT

  •  Do 50% of sentence minimum for aggravated reckles (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, Alec82

    s assault.  

    That's why its prosecuted this way.  This man must serve 22 1/2 years before he can even be considered for parole.  Considering his age and the abysmal Texas prison medical services, it is effectively a life sentence.

  •  He has no right to have unprotected sex. (5+ / 0-)

    And if he knows he's HIV positive, it is most truly assault with a deadly weapon.

  •  Its much worse than you think: Life imprisonment (3+ / 0-)

    is the sentence here (effectively, given the no consideration of release until 50% of sentence is served minimum for deadly weapon offenses).

    Please note, there are people presently serving life sentences in Texdas prisons under this same statute for spitting on police when they were HIV positive.  Also, there are HIV positive people serving up to 20 years for spitting at, but not hitting, police.

    Further, under Texas law (Penal Code Secs. 22.01 and 22.02) aggravated assault may be committed 'recklessly', i.e., without intending or knowing the result (giving them HIV), you should have known

    Third, HIV is not AIDS.  HIV is a virus, AIDS is a disease. AIDS is deadly, HIV is not.  HIV is the cause of AIDS, but does not always lead to it, i.e., it creates a risk of death or serious injury, but often it does not.

    Fourth, the Texas deadly weapon statute (Penal Code Sec. 1.07(27)) only requires the weapon be something that, as used, "could be capable" of causing death or serious bodily injury, i.e., there is a mere logical possibility - that may be remote in fact.  As a  result, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (highest criminal appellate court) recently held essentially that all DWIs can have a deadly weapon finding even if there wasn't any accident (let alone any injury).  Note that this was pure judicial activism.

    Fifth, 'deadly weapon' does not require death - or even a possibility of death.  Courts hold it is (by applying Penal Code, Sec. 1.07(27) and (46)) anything that "is capable"- i.e. 'might', of causing "serious bodily injury" - i.e., "protracted loss of use or impairment of function of any bodily organ" (protracted is held to mean for more than a few weeks or so). Please note many non-leathal infectious diseases have the capability of causing this.

    So, the question is: is life imprisonment appropriate 1) for ( as applied by juries at trial) mere 'super'-negligence, without proof of knowledge that it could spread a virus or that the virus could lead to potentially deadly disease or any intent that it do so, and 2) when there is a no possibility of causing death but it is merely an infection that can cause loss of use, e.g., the fingernails (a "bodily organ") for a few weeks?

    This is legal precedent of a broad statute - you do not have the luxury of picking when it will apply (that is the usually right-wing and Rethug, ambitious elected prosecutor's job) or re-writing it to limit the cases to which it might apply.

    Now add to that the Pope preaching against protected sex.  If this man can be convicted, can the Catholic church be prosecuted as an accomplice?

    •  Sure, if the Pope knows the guy has AIDS (0+ / 0-)

      recommends that the woman have sex with him and doesn't tell her. Just because he's against birth control? Of course not.

      I never liked you and I always will.

      by Ray Blake on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:15:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Catholic church could (0+ / 0-)

      be prosecuted as an accomplice if this man indicated that he was directed by the church to infect women with HIV.

      Frankly, I think the Catholic Church should have to pay taxes because of their position against protected sex. They need to pay for the government programs to help all the children they demanded be brought into this world.

      Not to mention the fact that the Catholic church should be charged - using RICO statues - for conspiring to cover up a child prostitution and molestation ring.

  •  What if women were imprisoned for transmitting (2+ / 0-)

    syphilis to men during the height of the VD scares?  Would this be okay?  What about sneezing in a retirement home or a daycare center when you have walking pneumonia?  Should we make sure that everyone who gets on a crowded airplane does not have swine flu or TB? Should a new mother with HIV or Hepatitis C be arrested for transmitting the disease to her newborn through her breast milk?

    Yes, what this man did was ethically wrong, but if you know anything about HIV, you know that not every time you have sex with someone you will pass on the virus.  Some forms of sex are riskier.  There must be an scrapes or cuts for the virus to have access.  

    "Most fools don't understand my worldview." - Ignatius J. Reilly

    by impygirl on Sat May 30, 2009 at 12:49:21 PM PDT

  •  Whoah, people, slow down for a minute. (16+ / 0-)

    Let me preface this with a few bits and pieces:

    (a) I live in Texas and work in the HIV/AIDS field;
    (b) I have HIV;
    (c) I used to be a communicable disease investigator.

    Now, let's consider some things.

    First, Texas does not have a law criminalizing HIV transmission. The main reason for this is that the Texas legislature still sees a consensual sexual act as occurring between two responsible parties. I agree that if this person was intentionally spreading HIV, that is a major problem and should have serious consequences, up to and including incarceration.

    Second, let's consider what the results of criminalization of HIV infection may be. UNAIDS has done a preliminary review of this kind of policy. The usual affirmative defense against such a charge is a lack of knowledge of status; that said, the result appears to be that testing rates go down -- if you're not aware of your HIV status, then you're not responsible if you transmit it. Not a good public health implication.

    Third, I have investigated many cases of HIV disease. HIV, like other sexually transmitted infections, runs in social groups. If one person is infected with a sexually transmitted infection, then chances are that other people within that social group are also infected. Many has been the time that, after investigating a new case of HIV infection, there was not just one sex or needle-sharing partner who was infected with the virus. There were often multiple. Even so, I frequently had patients who needed someone to blame or implicate -- and they were sometimes very, very incorrect in their assumptions. Also, people in such investigations very commonly hide or protect sex partners and do not share the full story with the investigator, and so people who were infected and aware were not reached; and people who were infected and UNaware weren't reached for disease intervention until much, much later.

    Finally, in the few prosecutions about which I have read regarding HIV and potential or actual transmission, there has been far more sensationalization of the case than examination of fact. For example, if someone spits on an officer, though I agree that's a potential assault, the jury should be presented with the fact that there's no evidence saliva transmits the virus. If there's a case of accused transmission, we can do genotyping tests to see how similar the viruses of the accuser and alleged perpetrator are -- but regardless of how similar they are, again, sexually transmitted infections run in social groups. It's very likely other people in the accuser's social group and sexual history may be infected and likely with a very similar or exactly the same version of the virus.

    Additionally, please consider that many people living with HIV/AIDS have many, many other conditions which affect how they behave and what risks they take and other people take with them. Substance abuse, depression, discrimination, spousal abuse, and many others are more common for people living with HIV/AIDS than they are for the general population. Also, very importantly, people who are infected tend to be of lower socioeconomic status and lower educational attainment; their health literacy is often limited and so their understanding of how to care for themselves and others can be limited. We on this website tend not to be in their situation, so it may be hard to understand how limited that is for some folks who haven't been in that position or met people in that position.

    What scares me most about the comments I've read is that they generally treat people like me as walking loaded deadly weapons who must be out to get other people and who are subject to suspicion and condemnation before any greater understanding or questioning has happened. The vicious stigma attached to us is borne out in this post's comment thread, and I hope people will take the opportunity to be more informed on what my virus and the people infected with it look like, and how and what we live with.

    Again, if this man intentionally infected people, I agree that he should be held responsible. At the same time, he is not the only responsible party, and there is probably a great deal more to the story to which we are not privy and to which the court may not be privy, either. Please, please do not be so quick to condemn practically or literally to death.

    Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

    by ElsieElsie on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:02:51 PM PDT

    •  well said - thank you n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, politik

      The Perimeter Progressive - Metro Atlanta Progressives http://perimeterprogressive.wordpress.com

      by Perimeter Progressive on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:04:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  those are very great points (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2, ElsieElsie

      and far more robustly laid out by you than the thin info we got regarding this case in this diary.

      _______________

      Don't confuse them with facts. They have stereotypes on their side. (rserven)

      by dadanation on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:20:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well said, however most of the comments (5+ / 0-)

      here are directed at this particular perp--a straight man with AIDS who knowingly infected six different women, lied about his status when asked and shows no remorse. That's different than thinking everyone with HIV is a dangerous weapon, which of course is not true at all. And not the same thing as thinking everyone who transmits the virus is a criminal.

      I never liked you and I always will.

      by Ray Blake on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:25:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My point, as stated above (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        vcmvo2, marina, wayoutinthestix

        is that someone like me could easily be accused -- and people are ready to take the accusation as gospel because I'm the positive one. That's why I hope people will become more informed...I have seen how people behave when the accusation is made, and I have yet to see the public or the police give the accused positive person anything but instant condemnation.

        I even see public health staff in my field sometimes behave this way. The assumption is always that the accused is culpable, rather than asking more questions and finding out what the full picture is.

        That's why I'm asking people to slow down the rush to condemn and ask more questions -- even when the case looks open-and-shut.

        Peace on Earth. Farewell to men.

        by ElsieElsie on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:37:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's what the courts are for, to (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CaliSista

          determine actual culpability. To do otherwise is to engage in witch-hunting. In this case, however, the guy was tried and convicted, and we shouldn't cut him slack because there are false and unwarranted assumptions made elsewhere about people living with HIV. It's possible and necessary to make informed distinctions.

          I never liked you and I always will.

          by Ray Blake on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:45:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Yep we should lock up people with the flu... (0+ / 0-)

    ...who knowingly break quarantine. Maybe not assault but if he knowingly spread HIV then he needs to be prevented from sexual fluid exchanges by any means necessary.

    As to your questions:

    No.
    Yes.
    Keyword is knowingly.

    There's something attractive about invincible ignorance... for the first 5 seconds.

    by MNPundit on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:12:06 PM PDT

  •  what no Catholic Bishops in Texas? (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, "protected sex" is against "teh teachings" doncha know.

    How you gonna keep them down on the farm, after they've seen Paris Hilton?


    We need to get back to bedrock American values like torture and secession. - Josh Marshall

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Sat May 30, 2009 at 01:14:38 PM PDT

  •  One question: Did he KNOW he had HIV? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, publicv

    If he did know, then he deserves life in jail.

    If not, he doesn't deserve it.

    Don't donate to the DSCC in 2010 - they'll give your money to Harry Reid. Donate to the candidates instead!

    by arcticshadow on Sat May 30, 2009 at 02:35:56 PM PDT

  •  I'm going to say there seems to be some (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza, revgerry

    malicious wrongness in what this guy did.  And for that he should be prosecuted.  What they call the name of his crime is irrelevent, but just like in a case of robbery, the perpetrator goes to jail.  Whether the victim knew him or not.

    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

    by publicv on Sat May 30, 2009 at 02:37:05 PM PDT

  •  If the victims had been gay men (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Econaut, Perimeter Progressive

    I wonder if there would be such outrage.

    As a gay man I understand it is my responsibility to assume my partner is HIV+ until told otherwise.

    It seems women are allowed to operate under other rules.

    Did this man lie about his HIV status, or was he not asked about it?

    I can hardly see a Texas court making such an award in favor of 6 gay men - we would be presumed guilty for not asking or for assuming HIV- status.

  •  Not a nice man (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    capelza

    The defense team asked for 20 years (the possible range was 5 to 99)

    Prosecutors had asked the jury to sentence Padieu to life, while defense attorneys suggested 20 years would be sufficient punishment.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/...

    And he actively worked against his defense, and put himself in a pretty bad light with the jury.

    Against the advice of his attorney, Philippe Padieu took the stand in the punishment phase of his aggravated assault trial, declaring himself to be the victim of angry women and overzealous prosecutors.
    ....The women, who have formed a support group since learning of their diagnoses, are actually a "hate group," Padieu said, reading the Texas legal definition to jurors.

    "These women are in a very dark, sinister place," he said. "They want vengeance." ....Padieu's ire during his testimony was also directed at prosecutors, who he said "coerced these women and made them believe I was the source."

    Assistant district attorneys Lisa King and Curtis Howard are "grandstanding," he declared. "Obviously this is a historical case. They're going to get promotions." ...Throughout his testimony Padieu said he was frequently victimized, including when he received a dishonorable discharge from the Navy and when he was convicted of armed robbery on a Virginia naval base.

    http://www.dallasnews.com/...

    "People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it." Ogden Nash (on universal health care?)

    by Catte Nappe on Sat May 30, 2009 at 03:26:54 PM PDT

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