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April 2, 2010

ACLU: Drop Bioterrorism Charges Against HIV-Positive Man

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is urging the Macomb County, Michigan, Circuit Court to dismiss bioterrorism charges against Daniel Allen, a 44-year-old HIV-positive man charged with “possession or use of a harmful device” after biting his neighbor during a fight, The Michigan Messenger reports.

The bioterrorism felony charge is on the books because of a 2004 package of laws created in response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“The ACLU of Michigan believes that, to the best of its knowledge, this is the first time a terrorism law has been used in connection with an HIV-infected person’s prosecution,” the group wrote in a friend of the court brief. “Not only is Michigan’s bioterrorism law being misapplied, but such charges by the Macomb prosecuting attorney’s office have the effect of demonizing people living with HIV, promoting both fear and ignorance regarding how HIV is transmitted and discriminating against people living with this virus.”

If judge Peter Maceroni decides to move forward with the terrorism charge, Allen will stand trial at the end of April.

Search: ACLU, bioterrorism, HIV/AIDS, laws, prosecution, Michigan, Daniel Allen

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