Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-02-21
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Johnson HIV conviction reversed
by Matt Simonette
2016-12-20

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Judges from the Missouri Eastern District Court of Appeals, on Dec. 20, reversed the convictions of gay college student Michael Johnson, who was sentenced to three decades in prison for exposing persons to HIV, and ordered that he be retried.

The appellate judges said in their ruling that the lower court incorrectly allowed evidence—phone calls Johnson made from jail that were not sufficiently disclosed in advance to the defense—in Johnson's trial.

Johnson was an athlete enrolled at Lindenwood University in the St. Louis suburb of St. Charles who was accused of infecting two people with HIV and exposing four others to the virus. He was ultimately convicted in 2015 of one count of recklessly infecting an individual with HIV, one count of recklessly exposing an individual to HIV, and three counts of recklessly attempting to expose an individual to HIV. His sentence was 30 years in prison.

Scott Schoettes, Lambda Legal HIV Project Director at Lambda Legal, who provided assistance to Johnson's public defender in preparation for his defense, said in a statement that his organization "is elated with the outcome at the appellate level in Michael Johnson's case, and the second chance it provides Michael. The real barrier to justice for Michael is the law itself—and we must energize efforts to change the laws and eliminate HIV-based prosecutions in the absence of the intent to harm."

Johnson refused to accept a plea-bargain. His appeal also maintained that his sentence amounted to cruel and unusual punishment. The appellate court did not consider the merits for that point however, since the circumstances surrounding the inadmissible evidence were enough to warrant a new trial.

Johnson's case was profiled extensively by Buzzfeed, which documented how systemic racism, classism, homophobia and HIV-stigmatization informed the athlete's investigation and prosecution.

"Living with HIV is not a crime," added Schoettes. "Except in the most extreme cases, the criminal law is far too blunt an instrument to address the subtle dynamics of HIV disclosure. Willingness to be open about HIV status will be created only by the destigmatization of HIV and policies that ensure people living with HIV are not singled out for discrimination or special prohibitions and punishments. Prosecutions like this—under antiquated laws like Missouri's—take us in the opposite direction.

"Given the outdated nature and extremely punitive nature of Missouri's law, Lambda Legal is hopeful the State will not appeal this decision, and will instead work to resolve the case without the need for another trial."

See www.courts.mo.gov/file.jsp .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Astraea, Mama Cash release report on movement highlights, priorities, funding 2018-02-21 - NEW YORK — Today, the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and Mama Cash released a new report highlighting the Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer ...


Gay News

Leaders note Trump District Court nominee's anti-LGBT slant 2018-02-21 - Civil-rights leaders from across the country condemned the Trump administration's nominee for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, Gordon ...


Gay News

CBA to honor Lori Lightfoot Feb. 28 2018-02-21 - Lori E. Lightfoot, of Mayer Brown LLP, and Larry R. Rogers Jr., of Power Rogers & Smith, will be honored with the Chicago ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN Fighting for kids against religious exemption laws 2018-02-21 - As a growing number of states allow child welfare agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ prospective foster and adoptive parents and LGBTQ youth in ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Trans foster-child bill, Black queer artist, breast-feeding first 2018-02-20 - In California, transgender foster children would be guaranteed access to healthcare specific to their unique needs under a bill announced by San Diego ...


Gay News

Advocates: Transmission laws hinder HIV/AIDS prevention efforts 2018-02-20 - Laws that penalize intimate partner contact wherein one person has failed to inform the other that they are HIV-positive are viewed by many ...


Gay News

State 'License to Discriminate' Bills Threaten LGBT Access to Services 2018-02-18 - ( New York, February 19, 2018 ) — The rash of new "religious exemption" laws passed by state legislatures around the United States ...


Gay News

Chicagoans Unite to Rally and March for Gun Reform 2018-02-17 - CHICAGO — Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, Women's March Chicago, and Indivisible have joined forces to lead a rally and ...


Gay News

Clarence Darrow Symposium to mark 80 years since Darrow's death March 13 2018-02-17 - Tuesday, March 13, the Clarence Darrow Commemorative Committee marks two contributions by famed "attorney for the damned" Clarence Darrow: marking the 80th anniversary ...


Gay News

Lawyers group responds to reports of Fla. shooter's white nationalist ties 2018-02-15 - WASHINGTON, D.C. — Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, issued the following statement Thursday ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.