HIV, TB, prisons, mandatory sentencing laws, judicial discretion, sentencing, New York State


The resurgence of tuberculosis (TB) in urban areas has direct and alarming consequences within the criminal justice system. Lock-up facilities, jails and prisons are TB breeding grounds. TB strikes with vengeance in populations with physical vulnerabilities caused by alcoholism, drug addiction, malnutrition, and HIV/AIDS and other immune-suppressing conditions. This Essay argues that it is time for New York State to reevaluate the mandatory sentencing laws and restrictions on plea bargaining. The interaction of HIV disease and TB offers a striking example of why justice is not served by binding the judiciary's hands. This Essay provides a medical overview of HIV infection and TB and their ominous interaction. This Essay goes on discuss the legal limitations facing judges and practitioners who are trying to justly adjudicate criminal cases in New York State, and offers strategies for maximizing the flexibility of a flawed system.

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Criminal Law Commons



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