WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Friday, November 16, 2007

ATTEMPTED MURDER?

The Herald reports HERE
that a woman who has HIV has been accused of attempted murder of a police officer by
expectorating on the officer. (For you robed readers, that means “spitting”)

Just how will the prosecution prove intent?

Two issues:


1) Isn’t it very difficult to spread the HIV virus? Doesn’t there need to be an exchange of body fluids? Doesn’t the CDC say that it is almost impossible to spread the HIV virus with saliva? But let’s take it to the next level: lets say the woman threw a vial of her blood on the back of a police officer who was in uniform? As vile as the throwing of the vial may be, there is virtually no chance of contracting HIV. So how can an act that has almost no chance of succeeding be considered attempted murder?

2) Is contracting HIV a death sentence? While we do not minimize the problems associated with HIV, aren’t millions of Americans living with the disease as chronic illness as opposed to dying? Doesn't there need to be at least a proximate cause between the act and the intended consequence?


Again, we do not minimize the conduct of the woman nor do we disvalue the life and well being of the officer. We are not saying the act is not a crime.

We are saying that we do not see how the crime of attempted murder can be proved.


See You In Court.

23 comments:

Rumpole said...

I wasn't really sure I had used the correct word:

dis·val·ue (ds-vly)
1. To regard as of little or no value.
2. Archaic To disparage.
n.
1. A negative value of something.
2. Obsolete Disesteem.

Anonymous said...

Rumpole,

Since it is your birthday, will you be celebrating in your B-day suit?

Anonymous said...

Well here's an article from 1997 which talked about a man sleeping with women, knowing he had AIDS.

One portion talks about spitting as attempted murder:

"More than 10 attempted murder convictions have been upheld on appeal nationwide, but they usually involved biting, spitting or when the perpetrator told his victims he was going to kill or infect them. In one case in Texas, a convict with HIV was given a 99-year sentence for attempted murder for spitting at a prison guard."

http://www.aegis.com/news/wsj/1997/WJ971101.html

Anonymous said...

"You long ball larry. Larry, you got long balls."

Anonymous said...

I was reading the link on the broward blog regards Judge Levenson JQC complaint

http://www.expressgaynews.com/2007/11-1/news/localnews/4163.cfm

This Judge does not deserve this! His comment was not hateful nor in a bigot tone, it was comical to say the least. It was no different than making a harmless joke to a buddy about his weight and laughing. "WHY" because your buddy is "fat" and it's a known fact. "SENSE OF HUMOR" folks!. So if I have a gay friend and I joke about his gayness in a harmless way I am a bigot!

I support gay rights and legislation 100%. Now if Judge "Hate All Gays" Rothenberg had said this comment I would be outraged because she has stated at every opportunity that she does not like gay people.

Judge Levenson, needs our support. I urge SaveDade and other activist to identify the difference between a Judge Rothenberg and a Judge Levenson because my friends there is a huge difference.

Anonymous said...

in ace ventura pet detective, ace encountered a tribal lord in whose culture spitting was a sign of endearment. maybe she liked him?

Rumpole said...

While I have cited to movies and popular culture in my defense of clients, I am not so sure that your citation to "Ace Venture" in this context would really help matters for the accused.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like Jim Carey humor to get me going in the morning.

Ps. Rumpole the South Florida Legal Blog is taking your bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Fake Ace Ventura says. Rumpole- umbumbayee ocobaba doodoo. Translation- your last post was full of shit. How can one intend to hurt when one is flattering the officer with her only sign of endearment, an exchange of bodily fluids orally because she cannot have intercourse for fear of transmitting the hiv which she knows she has, but she knows she cannot transmit hiv by spitting so this is her intimate sexual moment, notwithstanding the fact that the officer is not intellectually sophisticated enough to appreciate her showing of affection, nor is he permitted to reciprocate, at least not in public and in uniform. He could however retire to her home and they can pleasure each other without penis vagina exchange of fluids. Ever had a good soft massage- they are better than intercourse- as is a good hot fudge sundae.

Anonymous said...

When did Rothenberg say she hated gay people? You are a liar!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that you posted on this story, because it is an important one. i really hope that the State does not pursue these charges as they are baseless. HIV can not, under any circumstances, be transmitted in this way. We all went through an age of terrible HIV hysteria, but here are the facts. HIV is no doubt a terrible disease that has ravaged the world. That said, it is not easy to transmit, and with today's medicines, even someone who had HIV should and could live a normal life span with the proper meds. As far as transmission goes, Saliva not only does not carry the virus, but actually neutralizes it. Of course, even if saliva contained the virus, it would have to get into an open wound on the offices, or be in a high enough quantity and come in contact with a mucous membrane. More facts that should be known...HIV is very hard to transmit. If a man has unprotected sex with a woman who has HIV, his odds are about 1/2000 of contracting it. While there is a hypothetical risk to receiving oral sex (ie if the giver has a bleeding gaping wound in their mouth, a high viral load, etc), there are no reported cases of HIV being transmitted in this manner (so much for saliva). Most experts think it is impossible to contract HIV from giving oral sex to an infected woman, and from giving oral sex to a man with HIV, with ejaculation, the odds are roughly 1/10,000 of contracting the virus, and some experts think it is even less. A great number of mixed status couples do not use protection for oral, and have no problem. In fact, a Spanish study just tracked a huge number of mixed status gay couples who had unprotected oral numerous times over a number of years and there was not one incident of transmission. As for a woman having sex with an infected man (unprotected) the odds of her contracting HIV are about 1/1000, and for performing anal sex, it is around the same. Receiving anal sex, blood transfusions, etc. are obviously higher risk activities. but still, If a man receives anal sex from a man with HIV, his odds are only about 1/250 of contracting the virus. These statistics are from the CDC, a fairly conservative organization. This case should not be prosecuted

Joseph Gaines said...

This case is ridiculous. The likelihood of someone with HIV spitting on another person and them contracting the disease is slim to none. This would be analogous to charging someone with attempted murder who threw a pocket knife at another person while the pocket knife is still in its package. The knife could theoretically kill the person of whom the knife was thrown at, but it is very unlikely.

Anonymous said...

From the CDC website:

Contact with saliva, tears, or sweat has never been shown to result in transmission of HIV.

Anonymous said...

I hope the bond hearing judge does the legal, and right, thing and finds no PC for the attempted murder charge. Maybe the defendant should be referred to Judge Leifman's program because she appears to have mental issues as well.

Rumpole said...

8:49- I live in the marketplace of ideas. My readers will come or go based on whether they like what I write. I'm willing to live with that. This has always been about me. I am not an altruist.

Anonymous said...

Any news on responses to the show cause order in the FACDL quo warranto case - deadline was 11-16??????

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
When did Rothenberg say she hated gay people? You are a liar!

Saturday, November 17, 2007 10:07:00 AM "

Have you been living under a Rock!

Anonymous said...

I agree that Judge Levenson should not be attacked for his "tight end" comment. It sounds like exactly the sort of comment Judge David Young, himself gay, would have made, all in jest, of course. People need to get a sense of humor!

Fake Peter Adrien said...

OK, that wraps up the arraignment calendar. Whew...took a long time to do ten pages. OK. Miscellaneous calendar...any lawyers out of turn?

Anonymous said...

Word up from Holdem/Foldem Freddy Moldovan and his band of doubling down ticket lawyers in Vegas. After crashing the CNN Presidential Depbate in Vegas Thurdsay night (and yelling out questions about traffic school) the boyz headed out for a boozy night of being reckless and careless. Then for kicks on Friday morning they all tramped down to Vegas traffic court where they hooted and hollered at the lawyers to do it "Miami Style" before the bailiff escorted them out of court and back to their hotel.

Fake Pannunzio said...

Wheew...I'm relieved cause I was like 'Dude' what is going on?'

MACCLENNY -- (AP) -- An animal sneaking around Baker County is not an orangutan as originally thought but likely a fox squirrel, state wildlife officials said Friday.

Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission laid doughnuts at a base of a tree after residents reported seeing a ``big orange ball of fur.''

The animal was probably an orange phase fox squirrel, Fish and Wildlife investigator Ken Holmes told The Florida Times-Union. The red-orange animals can grow to be about 2 feet tall and can climb in trees.

''I'll be astonished if it's an orangutan,'' Holmes said. ``I can quite confidently say it's probably not an orangutan.''

He said the animal's eating habits did not match with the patterns of a primate.

''I'm not discounting anything,'' Holmes said. ``However, this creature, whatever it may be, simply isn't acting like a primate.''

Anonymous said...

11:24,
While I agree with you and the other posters that this is certainly not an attempted murder case, it bugs me to see articles like yours written this way.
Unfortunately, way way too many people see things like this and think that "it could never happen to me."
"What are my odds? I'm not gonna be that 1/2000."
I think it's this way of thinking that has caused thousands of needless deaths.

a ffriend of the trialmaster said...

the trialmaster has been very hot lately.