Saturday, May 21, 2016

82 HIV Exposure Convictions In Missouri, No Race Data Released

Michael Johnson is in his early twenties and an African-American former student and champion wrestler who's HIV positive and serving 30-years in prison for violating one of Missouri's HIV felony exposure laws, and recklessly transmitted the virus.

We're snail-mail pen-pals and because of the injustice against him and my interest in those serving time in America's prisons for breaking HIV criminal statutes, I filed a public records request with the Missouri's Office of State Court Administrator.

Responsive records show a total of eighty-two guilty convictions since 1997 and 19 outstanding charges pending in the courts. The court administrator points out that the total number of charges is not reflective of cases, as there may be more than one charge affiliated with each case.

This page reflects data from 1997 through 2014 by year. I also requested addition information on the individuals prosecuted by the state and the court administrator withheld the records: "Please be aware that due to data quality issues, Gender, Age, Race, Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity will not be provided. Additionally, providing of Party Names (PartyID) is not typically approved by the committee reviewing requests."

For Michael Johnson, a bit of good news came on April 20 when the Center for HIV Law and Policy announced the filing of a friend-of-the-court brief on his behalf, along with dozens of other advocacy organizations, seeking to overturn his unjust conviction.

Nothing but best wishes for a successful lawsuit leading to the freedom of Michael Johnson.

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