Wednesday, May 25, 2011

And the Cat Came Back

Six months, or so, back, I posted  on the results of a court case which saw a man with AIDS given a life sentence for spending seven years 'accidentally' infecting a number of women when he refused to follow health department instructions to inform his partners and to wear a condom . Two of his partners died of AIDS related illnesses and three others were infected.

Well it didn't take our man long to figure out that jail isn't where he wants to be and so, somehow, he's back in court trying to convince a judge that a) he's really sorry, b) he understands now what he did wrong, c) he's better now and d) he'd like to help others avoid doing what he did. The part about his being able to atone and pay back being much better done if he wasn't in the slammer, hasn't been mentioned in the media, yet.

By way of explaining what happened to him he had a long sad tale to tell.  His slide into despair apparently started with a deformed testicle. That brought him ridicule as a youngster and gave him those bad of feelings of inadequacy. Would to goodness the Nazi heirarchy had such debilitating results from the scrotal abnormalities  described in the old soldiers' song. But I digress.

Growing up in Idi Amin's Uganda didn't do him any good as, apparently, he got to look at a lot of dead people before he emigrated to Canada. Things 'picked up' there, with a free university education and a government job. He got married and had three kids. And then, somehow, he got an HIV infection. That 'somehow' probably had a lot to do with his wife leaving with the kids and the 'devastating' divorce settlement she laid on him. The economic hit was so bad that he took up drinking after work. It wasn't long before he realized he was lonely, and that the ladies in the bars were lonely, too. They obviously didn't mind his hideous gonadal disfigurement, for he, apparently, had a very productive sex life. Until some of the ladies started asking him pointed questions about his health. It appears that some of his partners were just happy to have a man, let alone one with a shrivelled nut and a heavy viral load, they didn't ask and he didn't tell. He didn't want to 'jeopardize' the companionship by wearing a rubber, either. Somebody got sick, the police got involved.They found out about the health department and the unmentionable. Bim! Bam! Boom!  He's doing life.

But he's back and he's got a sympathetic lawyer. And all he wants to do now is to 'give back' by educating kids about what happens when you keep your HIV to yourself, or don't.  The free medication he's been given in prison has reduced his viral load to nearly zero. So, even if somebody found him irresistable, he'd be almost a safe as any other guy who's not shooting blanks. Maybe he'd like to increase his family.

No doubt his lawyer will point out that having him sit in the slammer for twenty years, thinking over what he already knows now, will be awaste of valuable resources. Why, he could be kept comfy on a disability pension from  OMERS, some publicly-funded housing and medication and stuff, while he 'helps' people. And all for a lot less than the $75 000 it costs  to keep him in jail. It's a win-win proposition.

If it were anybody else I might agree, but there's the niggling thing I just don't get. Sad, lonely, drunk, stupid whatever, how do you go on for seven effin' years exposing people to a disease you say made you feel like you'd been "shot in the head, heart, soul"? No matter how scared, or traumatized, or deluded you were, there wasn't a single day when you thought to yourself what you were doing with your love gun was exactly what ruined your life? If that never happened, the guy should not be walking among us, he will do it again. And if it did happen, only once,  why didn't he stop? Why did he 'unintentionally' kill two people and ruin three other lives? Those errors is worth more than twenty years of his. In days past he might have been hung.

He can be a more effective "poster boy for AIDS" doing his time. He can save up for a computer and cheap video camera and make some presentations from his cell. The message will be all the more credible.

PS: At his appeal, Johnson Aziga was declared a Dangerous Offender. He will be imprisoned indefinitely due to his 'likelihood to reoffend'. I hope he doesn't get on the prison 'screw squad'.

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