Sunday, May 01, 2016

FOIA: Arkansas AG Withholds HIV+ Prosecutions' Data

My curiosity about how many HIV positive individuals have been charged with exposure violations since November 1989, when Gov. Bill Clinton signed two of the nation's toughest AIDS criminalization laws, led me to follow a public records request with Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.

To my disappointment, Rutledge denied me access to data about the number of prosecutions and individuals names and races and genders, etc., after claiming a commitment to transparency that actually extends only to residents of the state.

There's a huge loophole in Arkansas' freedom of information laws allowing state agencies to withhold public records if they requesters don't live in Arkansas. Sure wish Bill Clinton, Hillary couldn't helped too, had amended the local sunshine statutes to allow everyone access to government records.

Stay tuned for further developments in this FOIA and HIV positive prisoners matter that are part of my campaign to shine a spotlight on Hillary Clinton's AIDS record from her Little Rock years and the fifty pozzies who've been convicted in that state of exposure violations.

There currently are 21 pozzies in Arkansas jails and 29 former such inmates, according to records obtained from the Arkansas Department of Correction.

I'm counting my blessings that the corrections folks ignored the non-resident exemption and provided me with the requested data. The attorney general should follow the corrections department's commitment to transparency regardless of where I live. Arkansas's FOIA for all!

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