Showing posts with label Criminal System. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Criminal System. Show all posts

April 8, 2020

Blood and Saliva are Being Sold As Treatment for Coronavirus

The ad on Own Shop, a dark web market, claims the vendor has been infected by coronavirus and is now selling their blood and saliva, which in theory could be immune to the virus and used to treat other coronavirus patients.
“I do this to provide for my family financially,” the post states, under the $1,000 price tag.
The hoax post is part of a huge surge in COVID-19-related scams on deep and dark web markets where criminals seek to exploit public fear by offering products that could allegedly serve as virus tests or vaccines.  
Other items on sale include rapid COVID-19 test kits, temperature detectors, and even a purported coronavirus vaccine.
“The limited availability of coronavirus testing — especially in countries like the United States — leads to demand for such products in black markets,” a report from global intelligence firm IntSights published on Tuesday morning said. “In all likelihood, however, these ‘products’ are in no way real, and buyers would be scammed out of their money.”
Hackers, cybercriminals, scammers, and state-sponsored groups are all taking full advantage of the global coronavirus pandemic to gain a foothold inside secure government networks, and trick people into handing over their money, buying fake items, and disclosing personal information.
One of the most popular tactics for cybercriminals is to register websites using names like “corona” or “covid” to trick victims into thinking they are official domains. 
According to data gathered by IntSights, there's been an exponential rise in the number of domains registered using these terms. In the whole of 2019, only 190 domains were registered using the words “corona” and “covid.” In January of 2020 alone, that number was over 1400, and during February, it soared to over 5,000 before topping 38,000 in March.
While some of the sites are legitimate, many are being used by criminals to lure unsuspecting victims to hand over their personal information or even their money.n
Ransomware groups are also using coronavirus to try to force people into paying money to unlock their computers. 
One ransomware sample observed by IntSights included a question-and-answer document that explained what the hackers could do if the ransom wasn’t paid.
“If I want, I could even infect your whole family with the coronavirus, reveal all your secrets. There are countless things I could do,” the hacker wrote.
While it may seem obvious to most people that this is a hollow threat, the threat will work on some.  
“These types of fear tactics work on a vulnerable population of people during a frightening pandemic,” the report says. “Threat actors use these fear tactics because they work. We have also observed similar psychological tactics used in sextortion scams, in which the threat actor tells the victim that he has access to the victim’s camera or photos with evidence of wrongdoing.”
Hackers are also trying to take advantage of people’s desire for information during the pandemic by hiding malware inside documents designed to look like official safety measures from the likes of the Chinese Ministry of Health.
Another gang is distributing a malicious version of the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Map that so many people rely on for updates on deaths and infections around the world.
While some hackers are targeting vulnerable individuals as part of their campaigns, others are going after critical institutions and infrastructure during the pandemic, including hospitals and health organizations. 
The World Health Organization said last week cyberattacks against it had doubled since the coronavirus outbreak began, and it’s not alone in being targeted. 
“Hackers are relentlessly targeting healthcare networks, endpoints, and Internet of Things devices in hopes to make [money],” the report said. “Ransomware is still running rampant in the industry, shutting down entire hospitals and disabling life-saving medical devices.”

August 29, 2018

HIV+ Man Charged with Not Taking HIV Meds

                                                   Image result for hiv meds               

Authorities have taken the unprecedented step of charging a Vancouver man under the province's Public Health Act for allegedly refusing to comply with a medical health officer's orders for HIV treatment.
Vancouver's medical director of communicable disease control told CBC News the issuing of an order is rare enough in itself. But the case is the first time her office has resorted to the courts for enforcement. 
"I cannot impress upon you to what extent this is an unusual step for us to take. This is not the norm," said Dr. Reka Gustafson.
"One of the worst outcomes of taking this step is that the public mistakenly gets the impression that something like this can happen to them either easily or that there isn't due process or fairness or ethics."

'Criminal prosecution is not appropriate'

CBC News has decided not to publish the 34-year-old man's name.
His lawyer sought a publication ban Wednesday on details of a hearing held last month resulting in the man's release on $500 bail and four conditions that include complying with Gustafson's orders.
According to a court document sworn in June, the four Public Health Act charges concern a nine-month period from August 2017 until this April. Vancouver Coastal Health medical officer Dr. Reka Gustafson said the case is the first time her office has ever gone to the courts under the Public Health Act to force someone to comply with an order. (CBC)
The man is accused of failing to collect medication and failing to attend clinic appointments, the document says.
The court document says the order was tied to the level of human immunodeficiency genetic material in his blood: once it exceeded a level that would make him infectious he was supposed to attend daily appointments.
Gustafson would not comment on the specifics of the case itself, but stressed that the charges were sworn under legislation designed to protect public health as opposed to the Criminal Code.
"Criminal prosecution is not appropriate for HIV," she said. "It's not appropriate for communicable diseases — period. It's not appropriate; it's not effective."

Intervening when HIV/AIDS a risk to others

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control published guidelines last summer for medical health officers considering intervention when people with HIV/AIDS pose a risk of harm to others.
The document was designed primarily for situations where people diagnosed with HIV engage in high risk sexual behaviour or share needles or drug paraphernalia without informing others about their infection and the related risk.
Tests and treatment for HIV have drastically improved the lives of people with the virus and helped to combat the stigma once associated with HIV and AIDS. (Ron Boileau/CBC)
It says people with a "viral load" less than the level cited in the charging document have "a negligible risk of transmitting HIV to their sexual partners."
​Gustafson said she has directly managed the public health management of 2,000 cases of HIV in the past decade, working with clinicians and agencies to develop plans for treatment and support.
Her office has only issued a handful of orders. But they have never before sought the help of the courts to force someone to comply.
"You don't take a step like this lightly or without consultation with colleagues, with individuals who would have concerns about taking this step," she said.
"The order wouldn't be very meaningful if you weren't able to enforce that order with potential support of the courts."
According to the centre for disease control's guidelines, the issuing of an order can be considered if a medical health officer "reasonably believes that the person continues to pose a risk of harm to others, and voluntary and other measures have been exhausted."
The document says medical health officers should discuss the use of such measures with the provincial health officer and legal counsel. Gustafson said she also consulted ethicists and other clinicians.

'Testing works … treatment works'

Potential penalties for conviction under the relevant section of the Public Health Act include fines of up to $25,000 and imprisonment for up to six months.
Gustafson said her office's aim would be that "the person would be required by the courts to take whatever prevention measures would be needed to reduce the probability of transmission." 
​She said the past decade has seen great success in tackling both the stigma around HIV and the rate of new infections.
She also pointed to the province's decision as of last January to cover prophylactic medication, which effectively acts as a vaccine for people who fear they may be at risk of exposure to HIV.
"There has been a steady decline in new HIV infections because testing works, because treatment works, because of supporting people to live with their infection which is now a chronic manageable condition," she said.
Gustafson said the public should know that any decision to go to court would not be taken lightly.
"The last thing we want is for people to get the impression that this happens often or that it can happen easily and that it makes them feel unsafe to be diagnosed and treated," she said.
"So what's at stake is the potential undermining of the measures that we know are very, very effective at a population level based on a very, very uncommon occurrence."
  Jason Proctor · CBC News 

June 30, 2017

States Saying No To Trump Request for Voter Rolls!!

A growing list of states is refusing to comply with the White House’s unprecedented demands to hand over their voting roll data.

On Thursday, Trump’s “Commission on Election Integrity” sent out a letter to all 50 states ordering officials to turn over a whole lot of information on voters. The list of requested information includes: “full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of Social Security number if available, [and] voter history from 2006 onward.”

A pretty frightening list of demands, especially given the vice chairman of the commission’s documented history of voter suppression: As Secretary of State in Kansas, Kris Kobach led an assault on voting rights so terrible, it prompted the ACLU to describe him as “the King of Voter Suppression.” As an advisor to Trump, Kobach has also signaled he supports a Muslim registry.

June 15, 2015

American Bounty Hunter in the Endanger Species List


It’s just after 4 p.m., and the late-afternoon clouds have grown dark with rain. Fast-witted and sharp-tongued Tushina Crum, 31 years old, has spent the whole day with her petite, pierced junior partner, Ileana Zamudio, pounding on doors in search of a man we’ll call Daniel. The women finally have a promising lead. 
Surrounded by the red rock canyons of rural Colorado, we drive to the next town over, where we turn down a series of side streets before coming to a stop. Crum straps a bulletproof vest over her white V-neck T-shirt, and a black SUV pulls up behind us. Three baroquely tattooed men of varying ages, each clad in all-black and wearing bulletproof vests as well, step out: Our backup has arrived. Together we start toward a gray aluminum shed that’s been converted into a motorcycle shop. 
Big Daddy and SWAT, who is carrying what looks like a shotgun but supposedly shoots only rubber bullets, head around to the back in case Daniel tries to run. Old Timer trails behind the ladies as they walk up the driveway, their right hands poised above the Glocks on their waistbands, right next to the hot-pink handcuffs. I follow, conscious that I’m not wearing a bulletproof vest. In the garage are three biker dudes who look simultaneously intimidating and apprehensive of the visitors, who, from the looks of them, could be police or thugs. Turns out they’re neither.
For this close-knit crew of bounty hunters, today is just another day on the job, Daniel just another degenerate on the run. But in many ways it’s more. It’s an adrenaline fix. It’s a source of pride, purpose and power. It’s a way of life.
And it’s on the verge of extinction. 
Along with a multitude of other justice reforms sweeping the country, courts are beginning to rethink the time-old tradition of cash bail. More sensitive to the negative repercussions of imprisonment, and fed up with footing the bill for overcrowded jails, a growing number of states and counties are looking for a new way to mete out justice, one that doesn’t involve a cash register. As it is, more than 60 percent of inmates in city and county jails haven’t yet been convicted. And 5 out of 6 of those are not there because they’re a flight risk or a danger to society: They’re behind bars because they can’t afford bail. One solution authorities are experimenting with is trading financial collateral for government supervision — a pretrial probation of sorts.
Some argue this makes for better justice, but by design, the movement for pretrial reform is putting two quintessential all-American professions in jeopardy: bail bondsmen and the bounty hunters they hire. “Times are changing,” says Katie Biorn, the bond agent Daniel owes money to. Biorn has been working for her parents’ company, Ross Bail Bonds, for 13 years, almost as long as her teenage triplet daughters have been alive.
“It’s scary.” 
Yet as these hardy adjuncts of justice have shown time and again over the past 100-plus years, they never go down without a fight.
When most people think of bounty hunters, if they do at all, they think blond mullets and the reality star Dog. And when they think of bail bondsmen, it’s as shady loan sharks, barely distinguishable from the criminals they work with. In some cases, that’s accurate. But not all. Biorn, also a bounty hunter, is a soft-featured, charming brunette, while her dad, Richard Ross, who once worked in law enforcement, and her mom, Judi, have been known to allow parolees to live in their home.
People seem to be just as ignorant about how the bail-bond world works. It’s simple: Shortly after a person is arrested, a judge or clerk will set bail, usually according to a predetermined schedule. Have the cash, you get released; you’ll get your money back when you show up for your court date. Don’t have the money, you can either sit in jail or call up a bond broker. In the latter case, you’ll pay a nonrefundable fee, usually between 10 and 15 percent of the total bail amount. The bond agent will be on the hook for the rest if you don’t show up to court, which is where bounty hunters come in.
Bail bondsmen say they are issuing about half as many bonds as they did just a few years ago.
Advocates for pretrial reform argue that this way of doing business allows dangerous criminals to go free and disproportionately punishes the poor, who could sit in jail awaiting trial for months, losing jobs and homes, only to be found innocent. Plus, the population of jails has swelled 20 percent since 2002, according to the Department of Justice, and the vast majority of the new incarcerees haven’t been convicted of anything. “We’re criminalizing people for being poor,” says Cherise Burdeen, executive director of the Pretrial Justice Institute. So in 2010, the National Institute of Corrections, an agency of the Justice Department, chose seven districts from across the country to see if they could come up with a better approach — one that would result in less flight and less jail crowding. One of the districts was Mesa County, a corridor of about 150,000 residents that sits on Colorado’s westernmost border. 
Bounty Hunters, Tushina Crum, an unassuming yet fiery 30-year-old, and her partner, 25-year-old Ileana Zamudio, along with their
Bounty hunters Tushina Crum and Ileana Zamudio and bail bond agent Katie Biorn on assignment outside Glenwood Springs, Colo.
The county started by bringing together what was often a contentious committee of judges, prosecutors, defenders and criminal justice advocates. The panel’s mission was threefold: Get people to show up to court, decrease the likelihood they’d commit new crimes before trial, and shrink the jail population to only the most high-risk offenders. Their first step was drawing up a questionnaire to help predict who was most likely to skip town, based on criteria like whether they have a job or a cell phone. From there, the reformers developed a rubric, which went into effect two years ago, that takes into account the risk-assessment results as well as the crime, and then suggests a pretrial sentence. Some of the accused should be set free on their own recognizance and others only under court supervision, which means they might have to come in for drug tests or wear electronic monitoring devices. The most dangerous criminals would remain locked up. And as of Jan. 1, 2015, Mesa County did away with its bail schedule, though judges still have the flexibility to require a surety should they choose to.
So far, the mission has succeeded on all three fronts, authorities say. Defendants who were released under supervision, instead of with a cash bond, were 50 percent less likely to miss their court date compared with the 10-year average (the biggest reason for that drop is simply that people get a reminder phone call ahead of their court date). And by March, 75 percent of those being held in the county jail were considered high risk, an almost 180-degree turnaround from a year earlier, while the incarcerated population as a whole had fallen by 27 percent. “We have the right people in jail now,” says Dennis Berry, director of Mesa County’s Criminal Justice Services department. 
The downside? Bail bondsmen say they are issuing about half as many bonds as they did just a few years ago. Many of them complain that average bail amounts have also plummeted. Or, as Judi Ross says, “They’re passing out PR [personal recognizance] bonds like suckers in a bank.”
In a barren strip mall just down the street from the Mesa County Courthouse in Grand Junction, Colorado, Gilbert Tafoya runs Big G’s Bail Bonds out of a one-room office with nothing more than a couple of desks, file cabinets and folding chairs. Big G — who is indeed a big dude, hovering well over 6 feet and weighing in at more than 300 pounds — is one of the last bondsmen standing. Four other bond agents, he says, have fled in the past year. While he once issued more than a dozen bonds in a single day, he hadn’t issued any over the course of my two-day visit. The bonds he does issue are for much smaller sums than before. To make up for the lost business, Tafoya, a father of three, travels to surrounding counties, where pretrial reform hasn’t yet arrived. “Everybody was living good. Now it’s all gone,” he says. “Good” looked like $120,000 one year and upward of $60,000 most others — more than double the per capita income in Grand Junction. 
Tafoya, 44, hopes he can outlast his job market’s turbulence. “You don’t choose this business. It chooses you,” he says, and when you hear his CV, it’s hard to disagree. Arrested for selling marijuana in ’97, Tafoya says he fled from his own bond collector. When he got wind that the bounty hunter was looking for him at a friend’s house, he says, he left a note on the door: “You’re never going to catch me.” It was punctuated with a smiley face. Eventually, Tafoya says, he turned himself in and spent two years in a correctional halfway house, but he’d made a big impression on his creditor — who offered Tafoya a job as a bounty hunter when he got out. Tafoya went to a police academy in Montana, took a test, and got a fugitive recovery badge, which brought with it the ability to knock down doors and tackle clients on the run. He became assiduous, chasing fugitives across the country and as far as Mexico, and sometimes very close to home — when his mom skipped bail for driving under the influence, Tafoya says, he went after her, too. He transitioned to issuing bail bonds about four years ago.
bounty hunters

The United States is one of only two countries that rely on financial bail, and the Bill of Rights mentions it.
If the mammoth insurance companies that underwrite bonds have anything to do with it, Tafoya won’t have to look for a new job anytime soon. The organization they fund, the American Bail Coalition, is trying hard to keep the industry afloat and even to generate new business. The group has a long winning streak: Twenty-five years ago, before it existed, just 23 percent of releases were tethered to commercial bail. Today, that proportion has more than doubled, while felony bail amounts have almost tripled. 
It won’t be easy cutting ties with a thread that is woven into the American justice system.
The ABC is lobbying statehouses around the country to enact legislation that would allow for post-conviction bonds — instruments that would require convicts who violate parole not just to go to jail but also to pay a financial penalty. Michigan, Mississippi and South Dakota have already passed legislation allowing post-conviction bonds; Mississippi is also experimenting with requiring convicts who can’t afford court fines to use a bail agent to pay them off. Meanwhile, the ABC is fighting hard to limit the offenses for which judges can let people go without a cash security, including driving under the influence and robbery. So far, it’s found success in Georgia, Louisiana and, you guessed it, Mississippi
It won’t be easy cutting ties with a thread that is woven into the American justice system — the United States is one of only two countries that relies on financial bail, and even the Bill of Rights mentions it. Bail agents, for their part, argue they render a service to the public; were it not for them, taxpayer-funded police would have to track down no-show defendants. And it might be difficult for some legislators who want to seem “tough on crime” to back pretrial reform. “It’s a welfare system for criminals,” says J.R. Henderson, a board member for the Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents. He says that he’s seen an influx of bondsmen in his state. They’re all looking for work in a place that has yet to pass pretrial reform. 
Back on the hunt for Daniel, who I’m told was arrested for possession of drugs and a sawed-off shotgun, we’re now winding through what I’m told is the most decrepit of the decrepit trailer parks. The motorcycle shop turned out to be a dud. But we have a photo from Daniel’s Facebook page of him fixing his all-chrome bike. The area surrounding him is strewn with particleboard and trash, and he appears to be in front of a trailer. Our goal is to find the exact location where the picture was taken. 
Someone spies a home with the same gray horizontal paneling as in the photo. Again, the guys fan out, and with the neighbors watching from their porches, Crum and Zamudio head up the front steps. Crum says she knows this is the place, she can feel it. She bangs on the door. Nothing. She keeps banging. Eventually a startled older man with few teeth comes out. Nope, he’s never seen the guy in the picture.
We drive around until the sky turns completely dark. But now Zamudio has to work the night shift at the local Kum & Go gas station. Crum, a mother of two who started at the police academy before having her first child, makes a plan to hit up the motorcycle shops in Grand Junction first thing in the morning. The pair will earn only $500, to split, if they catch Daniel. If they don’t, nothing. And already they’ve spent countless hours trying to find him. “We don’t do it for the money,” Crum says. They do it for the hunt. For the glory. For the sweet, sweet moment when they hold Daniel’s wrists behind his back and snap closed those hot-pink handcuffs.



May 30, 2014

Psychotic 20 yr Old Buys Gun to Probably kill, Mom Calls Police he’s Serving 15 yrs

(  Blaec Lammers is serving 15 years )

The parents of Blaec Lammers knew their 20-year-old son struggled with mental-health problems. He was on antipsychotic medications, when he wasn’t refusing to take them. Several times his parents had rushed him to the hospital for an involuntary, 96-hour psychiatric detention. It felt like a cycle without answer or end.
“Every conversation was, ‘What do we do about Blaec?’ ” his father, Bill Lammers, said from the family’s home in Bolivar, Mo.
Then, in November 2012, Blaec Lammers’s mother found a receipt for an AR-15 rifle in his blue jeans. Alarmed, she called police. Officers took him in for questioning. Blaec Lammers admitted to having homicidal thoughts and to buying two rifles with plans to shoot up a local movie theater and Wal-Mart, according to a probable-cause statement.
His parents were hailed as heroes. But today, as their son serves a 15-year prison sentence for his plot instead of getting the help they believe he needs, they are filled with doubt about their decision.
Now, Blaec Lammers’s parents look at therampage Friday in Isla Vista, Calif. — in which 22-year-old Elliot Rodger killed six people despite a series of mental-health red flags in recent months — and wonder whether their son had been heading down that same tragic path. Last month, deputies in California visited Rodger for a wellness check after his mother found disturbing videos that he had posted on YouTube, but authorities found no cause to intervene.
“The million-dollar question: Had we not done anything, would Blaec have done that?” Bill Lammers said.
The elder Lammers sees this latest mass murder — perpetrated by another young killer with hints of mental illness — as a further sign of a broken mental-health-care system and the often private struggle of families dealing with mentally ill children. An estimated 20 percent of U.S. teenagers have some mental-health irregularity, including 10 percent who have some behavior or conduct disorder, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
“You don’t want to think your son, your own blood, is going to be a shooter, a mass murderer,” Bill Lammers said. “But you’ve got to face the reality that he might’ve been.”
His son’s arrest came at a fraught time. Four months earlier, in July 2012, James Holmes, 24, walked into a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., and fatally shot 12 people and wounded 70 others. One month after Blaec Lammers’s arrest, in December 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, fatally shot 20 children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. The mental states of both shooters have been debated, along with whether their families or doctors could have done more to prevent their achieving their destructive ends. Holmes’s attorneys have argued that their client is too mentally ill to face the death penalty.
Bill Lammers, who works as a health-care software consultant, was in New York City on a business trip when his wife, Tricia Lammers, called him on Nov. 15, 2012. It was a Thursday afternoon. She had just found the receipt from Wal-Mart. Their first thought was that their son was going to kill himself. Then, they worried that he might hurt others. They agreed she should call law enforcement authorities in their rural, southwestern part of Missouri.
The Lammers family knew the sheriff well. Deputies had been enlisted before to help with their son. A couple years earlier, Blaec had stormed out of the house after an argument with his parents. They tried coaxing him back, but he ran off across a field.
They warned the sheriff that Blaec was off his medication. A couple hours later, the sheriff pulled up to the Lammers home and dropped off their son. The sheriff and Bill Lammers stood in the yard talking. Bill Lammers was shocked that the sheriff wasn’t going to detain his son, at least until he calmed down. But the sheriff explained that he couldn’t arrest someone until he had done something to justify that action. “Then it’s too late,” Bill Lammers told the sheriff. “We’re trying to prevent something.”
Bill Lammers recalled that conversation as he watched recent news coverage of the Isla Vista killings. A sheriff in California was explaining that Rodger, appearing timid and polite, did not meet the criteria for an involuntary hold. Rodger had not done anything, either.
“The mental-health system is totally broken,” Bill Lammers said. “Calling the police is the only option.”
Bill Lammers, 53, owns guns. He keeps them locked in a safe. He never let his son near them. He knew that Blaec should not be around firearms. So he was shocked when he learned that Blaec had bought two rifles from the local Wal-Mart.
He bought them legally. There was nothing in the standard background check to stop him. But, as Bill Lammers pointed out, this was the same Wal-Mart where his son filled prescriptions for his antipsychotic and antidepressant pills. It was also the same store where, in 2009, Blaec Lammers was found wandering the aisles carrying a butcher knife and wearing a Halloween clown mask. Deputies escorted him out of the store that time.
Bill Lammers said he does not support laws limiting the size of ammunition clips or restricting ownership of certain firearms. But he would like to see stricter laws to prevent someone with a history of serious mental illness — someone like his son — from buying firearms.
Even after police arrested Blaec Lammers, which was followed by a burst of national attention over a foiled mass-murder plot, his father never expected him to face serious prison time. Blaec Lammers, his father said, “was for the most part a peaceful, easy-going person.” In March 2014, after a bench trial, a judge sentenced Blaec Lammers to 15 years for first-degree assault and armed criminal action.
Bill Lammers said his wife has struggled with their decision to notify authorities in 2012. She expected her son to get a wellness check. He ended up giving a confession. She feels that she ruined her son’s life, Bill Lammers said. He struggles with their decision, too. “But isn’t that better than him killing 20 or 30 people?”
“We still have trouble accepting it,” he added. “It’s just like the parents out there in California.”

By Todd C. Frankel

May 6, 2014

Law Continually Comes down at HIV People to be Prosecuted in Canada

  Bongaini Nyoni, 42, who had unprotected sex with three women despite knowing he was HIV positive, and who infected two of them with the virus, is awaiting sentencing in B.C. Supreme Count in New Westminster. He was convicted of three counts of aggravated sexual assault, and the Crown has asked for a sentence of between 13 to 14 years in prison. A group of infectious disease experts believe cases like his should not be considered criminal.                                                                               

A group of infectious disease experts is pushing back against Canada’s justice system, arguing that non-disclosure of HIV infection to a sexual partner should not be grounds for criminal prosecution.

In a consensus statement presented Friday at the Canadian Conference on HIV/AIDS Research in St. John’s, the six HIV experts said the latest scientific evidence shows the risk of sexually transmitting the virus varies from low to zero in many cases.

"We thought it was really important to provide the criminal justice system with a very concise statement about what we view as the risk of transmission and how HIV has really become a chronic, manageable disease," co-author Dr. Mark Tyndall said in an interview.
There have been more than 150 cases in Canada in which people with HIV have been charged, mostly with aggravated sexual assault, for not disclosing their infection — sometimes years after the initial sexual encounter occurred.

“The vast majority of the convictions ... have not resulted in any HIV transmission," said Tyndall, head of infectious diseases at Ottawa Hospital, pointing out that in Canada, even a possibility of transmission can lead to prosecution.

In 1998, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that people with HIV must inform their sex partners of their condition or face a charge of aggravated sexual assault, which carries a 14-year prison sentence on conviction and can lead to a potentially lifelong designation as a sex offender.

That decision was updated in October 2012, when the high court considered two separate cases from Manitoba and Quebec, both dealing with heterosexual interactions.
The justices ruled 9-0 that anyone infected with HIV is not legally obligated to inform sex partners about their condition — as long as they have a low level of the virus in their body due to treatment and they also use a condom.

"Many of the cases are really domestic disputes. Some of the more egregious cases are people (charged) 10 years after the fact. And even in long-term relationships, where they've known that their partner is positive, they go back and charge them for the very first time they had sex," Tyndall said.
While he doesn’t have exact figures, Tyndall estimated that about 75 per cent of the cases involve heterosexual interactions, although the law also applies to men who have sex with men.

The doctors say that having sex using a condom or with effective antiretroviral therapy poses a negligible possibility of passing on the virus.
"With heterosexual transmission, it's about one in a thousand per contact. So I think people have a false impression that if you have sex with somebody who’s HIV-positive you're going to get HIV, and that rarely occurs," Tyndall said.

"A lot of these cases are people who are on treatment or cases where a condom's been used — and people have been convicted for aggravated sexual assault when the risk of them transmitting the HIV virus was essentially zero."
In their statement, the doctors say that being spat on by an HIV-positive person poses no possibility of transmission, and being bitten by an infected person can't spread the virus unless the skin is broken and the person's saliva contains blood. But even in those instances, the possibility of contracting HIV is negligible, they say.

"We have seen that the criminal law is being used in an overly broad fashion against people living with HIV in Canada, in part because the science is not well understood or communicated," co-author Dr. Mona Loutfy, a clinician-scientist at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, said in a release.

"It was time for experts to let the justice system know, clearly and concisely, what science tells us about HIV and its transmission."
The physicians also stress that dramatic treatment advances — primarily the advent of antiretroviral therapy — have transformed HIV into a chronic but manageable condition, no longer the automatic death sentence that it once was.
Their statement, endorsed by the Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada, was welcomed by a number of advocacy organizations, including the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network.

Executive director Richard Elliott said the law as it stands “really needs to be reined in" because it treats people as rapists — one of the most serious offences in the criminal code — for not disclosing their HIV status.

"We say this is a wild overreach and a misuse of the criminal law because what you see is people who had no harmful intent, who posed no realistic possibility of transmitting HIV, being convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced in some cases to years in prison and designated for life a sex offender.
"That is not right. The law needs to be pulled back,” said Elliott, adding that Crown prosecutors should exercise more restraint in pursuing cases where the circumstances aren't warranted.

“And we need to see judges have a better understanding, including obviously our Supreme Court judges, of the science and of the importance of drawing the line in a more conservative and restrained place."

That's not to say that there is never a case for laying charges for non-disclosure.
UNAIDS and other international bodies have said that if someone transmits HIV intentionally, “that's a circumstance in which criminal prosecution could be legitimate," he said, noting there have been a handful of such cases in Canada.

Tyndall said the issue of non-disclosure between sexual partners is mostly a public health issue, but the current law has "wreaked havoc" with efforts that encourage people at increased risk of infection, such as those in the gay community, to get tested for HIV.
Fear of possible prosecution has meant some people have chosen not to learn their HIV status, “because if they don't know, then they can't get charged," he said.

"The basic idea is that this is a public health problem and it's not a criminal justice problem. And I don't think it belongs in the court system at all."
Follow @SherylUbelacker on Twitter.
———Sheryl Ubelacker, The Canadian Press

March 29, 2014

The Bieber is Hit The Justice System and Since Everyone Comes Out Scarred by It, We’’ll Ck.for New Tattoos

Say what?
You don’t want to seem out of it, so here’s what you need to know: Canada’s most regrettable export, Justin Bieber, recently underwent a deposition in Miami in a civil lawsuit filed by a paparazzi photographer who claims that the Bieb ordered his bodyguard to beat the photographer to a senseless pulp and, even more tragically, to take the memory card from his camera. And now you can barely click on a kitty video on YouTube without having to squirm past a clip of this train wreck.
I thought about doing this as a parody, but as the saying goes, sometimes the jokes just write themselves. As a public service, however, Buzzology is providing the highlights of Mr. Bieber’s lesson on how to act like a spoiled, disrespectful brat:
1. Immediately lay out the terms under which you will answer questions. Waggle your finger and rotate your neck at the deposing attorney to emphasize your feelings. If that doesn’t work, either feign a coma or walk out.

  2. Grace those around you with your opinions on the current state of journalism. As a means of furthering your point, confuse a male attorney with journalistic superstar Katie Couric.

3. Give ol’ Dale Carnegie a good spin in his grave and viciously attack the one person in the room who has no dog in the fight — the court reporter.

 4. Claim to have forgotten ever having set foot in Australia, one of the most memorable continents in the world. In all fairness to Mr. Bieber, he might not remember traveling to Australia simply because he might not know where Australia is.

5. Clearly show the world your lack of SAT prep by confusing the words “detrimental” and “instrumental” — as in, “I was discovered on YouTube. It was detrimental to my career.” Well, sure. If you learn to read by hanging around on YouTube — Land of Intellectual Discourse — then of course it will be detrimental to your career.

 While you’re at it, Mr. Bieber, why not hit it out of the ballpark by forgetting the international superstar who helped make you famous? Oh wait, you did that, too.
Hope you don’t have to stand in front of the Swingin’ Judge.
Tech Columnist 

Wether you are guilty or not, poor or rich once you go thru the massive slow wheels of the american justice system, you would have some scars to show. Some, particularly because of their low education and low resources will never come out or spent the majority of their rest of their lives dealing with it. 

It’s not necessarily that you are behind bars, that is just one part of it.  It’s dealing with it’s tentacles that spread wide and are suffocating, can destroy an individual’s liberty by its bureaucratic system of probation, fines, classes that are there not to teach anything but to punish the individual both financially and time wise. 

Yes, there are many that abuse the system as we often hear. For those either they are smart enough with the right money to throw away or just they have become cured of the pain it inflicts and like the individual that has no capacity to feel pain anymore and can stick his  hand on the fire to consume the fresh yet he does not feels it as it burns.

We will see what happens with the Bieber. My guess is that this being the first encounter he will probably go back to his old ways but with a more careful way of doing things. He can continue to do everything he was doing before except he can’t drive himself and he can’t punch other people  himself. People in his position have handlers to do all that for them.

Adam Gonzalez

October 6, 2013

Mad Max in New York

We’ve all seen the video: a biker, later identified by police as 28-year-old Christopher Cruz, brake-checks an SUV carrying newlyweds and their 2-month-old child.
After that, all hell breaks loose.
The SUV drivers runs over at least three bikes and/or riders — one of whom is in a medically-induced coma and may be paralyzed — resulting in a madcap chase through northern Manhattan and ending in the beating and slashing of the SUV driver, Alexian Lien.
That’s crazy, but it’s not even the actual crazy part.
According to a report in the New York Post, the bikers — at least 30 of them — were attempting to illegally close down an entire section of the West Side Highway to perform stunts.
Yeah, you read that right.
What were they even doing there in the first place?
Well, it turns out that the NYPD was aware of a ride organized by bikers outside of the city into Times Square, so they setup checkpoints to deter the bikers while looking for infractions.
55 bikes were impounded for various reasons. Many of the bikes in the videos don’t even bear license plates. In fact, the cops got over 200 calls about the bikers causing all sorts of problems.
A user from managed to grab about an hour’s worth of videos that were about to be deleted from YouTube of the antics prior to the SUV incident. It’s wild stuff, bikers breaking innumerable traffic laws, riding on the sidewalks full of pedestrians, and behaving like complete jackasses (and I say this as a motorcyclist who just last week got a verbal warning from the NYPD for allegedly lane splitting on a city street).
The crazy thing is that this isn’t even that uncommon; on the same day, about 30 miles north, I witnessed a pack of bikers speeding through a busy three-lane interstate doing wheelies on the freeway.
So what does the NYPD do about it? They can’t actually do much.
Often, the bikers are generally inclined not to pull over and giving chase can lead to injuries or fatalities, according to the Post. There’s a reason why some of these riders are derisively called “squids.” They are short-lived, dart off at speed and maneuver unpredictably.
Prosecutors decided to drop the charges against the second biker who was arrested (for allegedly trying to break one of the windows in the SUV after it had been forced to a stop following the chase) and sources tell the Post that the case against Cruz is weak as well.
So basically, it’s pretty much Mad Max out there.

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