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Constitutional Law

2010

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Ari E Waldman

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Exceptions: The Criminal Law's Illogical Approach To Hiv-Related Aggravated Assaults, Ari E. Waldman Nov 2010

Exceptions: The Criminal Law's Illogical Approach To Hiv-Related Aggravated Assaults, Ari E. Waldman

Ari E Waldman

This article identifies logical and due process errors in cases involving HIV-related aggravated assaults, which usually involve an HIV-positive individual having unprotected sex without disclosing his or her HIV status. While this behavior should not be encouraged, this paper suggests that punishing this conduct through a charge of aggravated assault – which requires a showing that the defendant’s actions were a means likely to cause grievous bodily harm or death – is fraught with fallacies in reasoning and runs afoul of due process. Specifically, some courts use the rule of thumb that HIV can possibly be transmitted through bodily fluids as ...