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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

GUILTY: AIDS Denialism is a Dumb Defense

By Tammy Joyner
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A Clayton County jury found a Stone Mountain man guilty Tuesday of knowingly exposing a woman to HIV.
Craig Lamar Davis, 43, sat motionless in a packed courtroom as the jury read guilty verdicts in two counts of reckless HIV, a felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Davis was taken into custody. Sentencing is set for 10 a.m. Feb. 21.
Shortly before being taken into custody, Davis comforted family members, some of whom were crying.
The case is the first of its kind to be tried in Clayton County, prosecutors said after the trial.
“We are pleased with the verdict,” said Kathryn Powers, deputy chief assistant district attorney, one of three prosecutors in the case. “They (jury) were able to weigh the validity of testimony of people who don’t believe AIDS or HIV exist.” Powers also noted the jury’s verdict sends a strong message that it is incumbent that people infected with the virus notify people of their status.
James Walker, the attorney for the woman whose allegations led to the case, said he hoped the verdict “will give others the courage and fortitude to bring these types of individuals to justice.”
District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson said Tuesday’s verdict sets the stage for a similar case against Davis in Fulton County. The defense conceded Tuesday’s decision could make it tough to try the same case in Fulton.
“It’s hard to override 30-plus years of HIV prejudice and hysteria,” John Turner, Davis’ attorney said. “The (Clayton) jury’s decision reflects that. We clearly established reasons to question the results of (HIV testing). We handed them reasonable doubt on a platter but they chose to disregard it.”
The verdict ended a week of testimony from medical professionals and other witnesses, including a California nonprofit that refutes HIV testing. The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice flew in experts at its own expense to help in Davis’ defense.
“I’m just disappointed by the verdict,” OMSJ director Clark Baker said. He said his organization is considering filing claims against the doctors, hospitals and others who Baker believes misdiagnosed Davis since HIV tests on the market state they can not be used to definitively detect HIV.


  1. So this reporter is about as bad as they get. Totally bought into Baker's bullshit. Actually sees Banks and Rasnick as credible. Simply amazingly sad.

  2. Seth, I hear you. But a win is a win.

    The reporter on this case is junior and not a serious figure in Atlanta news. I believe we could get a much more serious reporter at the AJC, and there are other newspapers like the Fulton County Daily. I also believe the AJC would publish a letter to the editor.

    It is hard to convict experts of perjury. But these "experts" had absolutely no scientific basis for their testimony. Not only did they perjure, but they violated the AMA guidelines for expert testimony. Experts must give unbiased testimony, no matter who pays for that testimony.

    I hope someone finds a way to challenge OMSJ "experts" under Daubert. Under Daubert, experts must base their testimony on fact and accepted science. These bozos admit their testimony is not accepted science. Fake science has no place in the courtroom.

    If even one judge would rule that these guys fail Daubert, or even sanction these guys, that would be the end of this courtroom clown act. Baker has lied repeatedly under oath. That should be enough to get OMSJ excluded from all court rooms.

    1. You're offensive and insulting. You obviously don't know anything about the story or the reporter who covered it.

  3. Actually, I do not think there are any winners.
    People got infected with HIV.
    Others are likely traumatized.
    The disclosure laws are easily abused to persecute people with HIV.
    Davis did not get a credible defense.
    Even the film crew is left with an uninteresting story that no one will care about.

    The closest thing to a winner is Baker who cashed in and Coleman who goes on to the next case -- if anyone remains ignorant enough to hire him.