June 8, 2012
N.Y. Appeals Court Rules Saliva With HIV Not a Deadly Weapon
The New York Court of Appeals has found that the saliva of David Plunkett, who has HIV and who bit a police officer, doesn’t constitute a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument under state law, according to The Associated Press. Plunkett is serving a 10-year sentence at Sing Sing after pleading guilty to assault as well as aggravated assault on an officer after punching him and biting his finger in 2006 at a medical clinic in the Mohawk Valley Village. The high court unanimously said saliva should be treated the same as teeth, which it concluded in 1999 doesn’t qualify as dangerous instruments because body parts come with the defendant and cannot heighten their criminal liability beyond the victim’s injury. The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund told the court in support of Plunkett that people with HIV shouldn’t face extra criminal sanctions or enhanced penalties because of their status. The court also sent the case back to a lower court for resentencing.
To read the AP article, click here.
Search: New York, Court of Appeals, David Plunkett, Sing Sing, Mohawk Valley, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, Criminalization
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