The appealed case is that of Air Force Sgt David Gutierrez. Baker and his group were not even part of the original defense team. As a matter of fact, Baker admits in his own words that the US Air Force considered him and his group “frauds”:
Gutierrez said that USAF Major James Dorman and Capt. Aaron Maness told him that Baker and OMSJ were frauds and that both attorneys would quit if Gutierrez accepted Baker’s assistance.
Appeal Defense to use Science, Not Denial
The appeal will be interesting because the defense strategy will actually focus on the orthodox science of HIV. That strategy is the antithesis of Baker’s strategy of challenging the science as “incoherent gibberish” and that HIV tests are worthless. But you would not know that from Baker’s press release where he quotes lead attorney Kevin McDermott out of context:
“This one case has the potential to remap the entire landscape of HIV testing and prosecution in the United States military,” said Gutierrez attorney Kevin B. McDermott, “and to halt this national injustice.”
Here is the full context from KSN.com:
The attorney for David Gutierrez said Monday his case could potentially remap HIV testing and prosecution in the U.S. military. The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces is expected to hear arguments this year.
Attorney Kevin McDermott says existing case law reflects attitudes from the mid-1990s, and the hope is that the case will get the military up to speed on current issues with HIV.
UPDATED SOURCE: And this AP article published in Stars and Stripes clearly shows the defense strategy is to use the current and accepted science of HIV: (The link to the AP Article in Stars and Stripes is no longer available. You can find the same article HERE NOW)
Defense attorney Kevin McDermott said the military’s case was based on old attitudes about AIDS and the virus that causes it “and how infectious it was and how much of a death sentence it was at that particular time.” The virus isn’t as easily transmitted through heterosexual sex as once thought, he said, and people can now live a long time with it.
“Really what this case is hoping to do is to get the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and every other military panel up to speed with what is going on with HIV today and to perhaps change those attitudes and mores,” McDermott said.
This strategy also comports with every legitimate advocacy group as well as the US Government. Alison Yager with the HIV Law Project put it very succinctly:
These laws are frequently based on outdated understandings and unfounded fears of HIV transmission risks. They do not prevent HIV transmission or promote public health, but instead foster environments of hostility and brutality toward people living with HIV.
The REPEAL Act of the U.S. Congress also relies on the current science of HIV to change these laws.
Relying on science rather than denial is just a much more sound and winning strategy. Dr. Seth Kalichman, editor of the peer reviewed journal AIDS and Behavior and author of Denying AIDS says: “There is not a single case where AIDS Denialists actually accounted for an acquittal or dismissal. Despite their trying, AIDS denialists in courts have failed in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia.”
No matter what the outcome of this appeal is, it is obvious from the above statements by the lead attorney that they are going in the OPPOSITE direction from Baker and his strategy of challenging the science of HIV. Whatever the outcome, it will be interesting to see how Baker spins it.
I have contacted Mr. McDermott twice and have yet to hear back from him.
HIV Innocence Group Noticeably Absent from Press Release
This is really surprising to me. As I have been saying for months, Clark Baker has not posted any case wins or even an update at his HIV Innocence Group site since November 2013. When my google alert brought this Press Release, I thought that had come to an end. After all, Mr. Baker has been harping about this case for two years. But there is not a single mention. Not even in the “key words” section at the bottom:
KEYWORDS: HIV criminal cases, HIV tests, wrongful prrosecutions, (sic) criminal defense attorney, criminal investigation, private investigator, private investigation service
Here is my hunch: In the lawsuit Baker lost against me, he and his attorney are continuing to be less than truthful and say that my sole intention is to destroy Baker’s business. I believe Baker is intentionally trying to make it appear as though I have succeeded in their silly fantasy that I am hell bent on destroying Baker’s business. I may be wrong, but I doubt it.