In a case in western Indiana, defendant Isiah Benford is accused of failure to warn his partners of his alleged HIV-positive status. According to news reports, as a result of defense counsel Mark Mullican's motions and argument, Vigo Superior Court Judge Michael Lewis, expressing concerns about fairness for the defendant, the complexity of the case, and selecting a jury due to media coverage, postponed the start of Benford’s trial until February. Judge Lewis did so because discovery material including medical reports and names of witnesses were not shared with defense sooner, which limited defense counsel’s ability to prepare for trial. Judge Lewis also ordered Benford, who has been in custody in this case since June 2015, released on his own recognizance.
The Center for HIV Law and Policy challenges barriers to the rights and health of people affected by HIV through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources. We support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change that is rooted in racial, gender, and economic justice.