Murders & Harm Crimes committed in light of the spread of Corona virus, by R.T. Al-Jazzazi,  Judge at Amman F.I. Court

Murders and Harm Crimes committed in light of the spread of the Corona virus, and its criminal liability in the Jordanian legislation

Οι ανθρωποκτονίες και τα εγκλήματα βίας που διαπράττονται λόγω της εξάπλωσης του ιού Covid - 19 και οι ποινικές ευθύνες  στην ιορδανική νομοθεσία.

*by Rashed T. Al-Jazzazi,  Graded Judge at Amman First Instance Court

*του Rashed T. Al-Jazzazi, Πρωτοδίκης στο Πρωτοδικείο του Αμμάν, Ιορδανία

It is clear that the Corona virus is very dangerous as it threats the human lives and health. It spreads fast whether directly or indirectly between humans. The media and social media have contributed to enhancing the culture and knowledge of the symptoms of the virus infection. There is no doubt that isolating the infected person at home or quarantine, is almost the only way for protection and to prevent this dangerous virus of being spread between people.

Thus, an important question arises in the field of criminal law, specifically in the context of crimes of transmitting infection with an epidemic disease to others, which is: Is it possible to punish the infected person when he\she transmits this virus to others intentionally or by mistake if it leads to death or harm?

The criminal liability of an infected person who transmits it to others varies according to his\her intent, the result of the act, and also differs according to his\her awareness of being infected.

Therefore, it was necessary to discuss the cases in which the infected persons can use this virus in committing harm crimes and murder.

 

  1. Introduction:

On March 11th 2020, the World Health Organization announced that the Corona virus considers as a pandemic not a flu([1]), which prompted the whole world to take the necessary precautionary measures, and from those countries the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, where announced the suspension of education in schools, universities, institutes and all other organizations. Also the Prime minister declared the state of emergency and the Defense law has been activated, which states a curfew preventing people from being off the streets; to protect them from the virus infection.

There is no doubt that the human right of life and the right to live a normal life devoid of pain and suffering are the oldest and holiest rights that are protected by the monotheistic religions and all statutory legislation.

The Jordanian legislator stipulated severe penalties on harm and murder crimes, which is obviously in Articles 326 and beyond of the Jordanian Penal code. However, the problem arises when unconventional methods are used to assault the body and the human soul, such as microbes (bacteria and viruses), especially if the method of transmission is easy, which leads to a quick spread that may reach the level of the global epidemic, as what happened with the new Corona virus (COVID-19) at the beginning of the year 2020.

Perhaps the legal question that arises in this circumstance is:

  • What is the criminal liability of the virus’ carriers in case they transmitted it to others, whether intentionally or accidently as a result of negligence and failure to observe laws and regulations, if it leads to harm or kill others?

This question will be answered in detail in this research paper, depending on the analytical method, by reviewing the pillars of each crime in the Jordanian legislation, supported by the judicial interpretations of the Supreme Court whenever it is possible.

  1. Bodily Harming

Harming: An assault, whether in a positive or negative way, that affects the physical safety of the victim, as hitting, injuring or giving harmful substances, or by any other influential act. Physical safety means the normal functioning of the body's organs and its freedom of pain. This means that any action that would disturb the normal functioning of the body’s organs, affect its safety, or cause pain, no matter how slight, is considered harming([2]).

The Jordanian Penal Law does not provide punishment for the intentional or unintentional transmission of the Corona virus. Therefore, it is a controversial issue to determine the proper legal adaptation of the committed acts. In this regard there are several descriptions of the transmission of the Corona virus which can be combined into two descriptions:

First description: Unintentional harm

By reviewing the Article (344\1 and 2) of the Jordanian Penal Code, which states:

“1. If the perpetrator’s fault only caused injury as the one stipulated in articles 333 and 334 the punishment shall be imprisonment from three months to two years or a fine from fifty to two hundreds dinars (JDs 50-200).

  1. Any other involuntary harm shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not to exceed six months or a fine not to exceed fifty dinars (JDs 50).”

It is clear from the previous article that the physical pillar of the crime of unintentional harm consists of three elements:

  • Body assault: like knowing about being infected with Coronavirus and not complying with or neglecting isolation procedures.
  • Criminal result: infecting others with the virus and harming them without leading to death, or endangering their lives.
  • Causal relationship: when the result has been achieved by the perpetrator’s mistake or negligence.

In addition to the physical pillar, the unintentional harm must have its moral pillar, which takes the image of mistake or negligence, such as neglecting isolation procedures and socializing with people despite of the awareness of the infection.

According to the mentioned above, if all these pillars are met, an unintentional harm will be constituted which occurred through the transmission of the Coronavirus infection.

Second description: Intentional harm

By reviewing the Articles (333 and 334) of the Jordanian Penal Code, which state:

“Article (333)

Whoever intentionally assaults a person through beating or injuring or harming him/her by any effective act of violence, and the assault resulted in an illness or that the victim is prevented from carrying out the duties of his/her work for a period more than twenty days, he/she shall be punished by imprisonment from three months to three years.

Article (334)

  1. If the acts stipulated in the previous articles did not result in any illness or work prevention or resulted in an illness or a work prevention for a period not more than twenty days, the perpetrator shall be punished by imprisonment for a period not to exceed one year or a fine not to exceed one hundred dinars or by both penalties.
  2. If the acts stipulated in the previous articles did not result in any illness or work prevention exceeding ten days, a legal action can only be taken based on a written or oral complaint by the victim, in such a case the complainant has the right to drop his/her complaint as long as there is no final judgment issued in the case.”

It is clear from the previous articles that the difference between both of them lies in the duration of the suspension, whereas if the duration is less than ten days, the person who has the right to pursue the perpetrator is the victim by filing a complaint, but if the duration exceeds that period of time, the perpetrator will be pursued without filing a complaint by the victim, and the punishment will be more severe.

The pillars of the intentional harm crime are:

  • The legal pillar: It is the presence of a text that bans the act of harm in its various forms, as stipulated in Article (333) of the Jordanian Penal Code and beyond.
  • The physical pillar: It has three elements: Criminal behavior, criminal result, and the causal relationship between that behavior and result.
  • The criminal behavior: the act of assault by hitting, injuring, giving harmful substances, or by any other effective act.
  • The criminal result: The harm of the victim’s body. This result must be actually achieved, as the legal description of the crime of harming depends on the result’s severity. If the result is not achieved, the harming act is not punishable. Taking in consideration the fact that the result should not be death or endangering the victim’s life; because in this case another crime will be committed, which is killing or attempted murder, as will be explained later.
  • The causal relationship: The act of hitting, injuring or giving harmful substances, or other effective acts related to the criminal result.
  • The moral pillar: The criminal intent, which is the will to commit a crime as defined by law (Article 63 of the Jordanian Penal Code)([3]) and consists of two elements: knowledge and will. This means that the perpetrator must know what he\she is doing, and his\her will must be directed to that act and to achieve that result. As this will must be free and aware.

According to the above, if all these pillars are met, As if a person infected with the Corona virus sneezes in the face of others for the purpose of transmitting the infection and harming them, and the result is achieved. Then, an intentional harm will be constituted which occurred through the transmission of the Coronavirus infection.

In this regard, Articles (22\b and 66) of the Jordanian Public Health Law must be highlighted, as these articles state:

Article (22\b) of the Jordanian Public Health Law states:

“Anyone who intentionally conceals an infected person or exposes a person to an epidemic disease or intentionally caused the transmission of infection to others or refrained from carrying out any requested action in order to prevent the spread of infection, it is considered that he\she committed a crime that is punishable under the provisions of this law.”

Article (66) of the Jordanian Public Health Law states:

“Taking into consideration any more severe punishment stipulated in any other legislation, he\she shall be punished by imprisonment from two months to a year or by a fine of no less than five hundred dinars and not more than one thousand dinars, or both of these punishments, whoever violates any of the provisions of this law or the regulations issued pursuant thereto to it and no punishment is stipulated in this law.”

According to the two Articles mentioned above, if the crime of intentionally transmitting of the Coronavirus causes a suspension for more than twenty days, there is no scope for applying the imprisonment punishment prescribed in Article (66) of the Jordanian Public Health Law, because the prescribed punishment for intentional harm crime stipulated in Article (333) of the Jordanian Penal Code is more severe than that prescribed in the aforementioned Article (66), and the article (66) confirmed that if there is any more severe punishment in another law for the same act, the most severe punishment must be applied, as this Legislative approach is in line with the legal multiplicity of crimes provision which stipulated in Article (57) of the Jordanian Penal Code([4]).

But if the suspension period is less than ten days, then the prescribed punishment in Article (66) must be applied, as an implementation of the rule of the private article restrains the public article, and because the punishment which is stipulated in Article (334) of the Jordanian Penal Code is lighter than the prescribed punishment in Article (66) of the Jordanian Public Health Law.

For instance, a video recently spread on social media for a person infected with the Corona virus who was asking the nurses to give him treatment, but the nurses answered that there is no treatment for the Coronavirus at the present time and he must adhere to the instructions, which caused his anger and led him to sneeze and spit on their faces to infect them. In this case, if they have been infected, - without dying or endangering their lives - then the perpetrator will be pursued with an intentional harm crime and the punishment will be according to the article (333) of the Jordanian Penal Code or (66) of the Jordanian Public Health Law depending on the result.

Finally, it is worth noting that there is no attempt in harm crimes, nor any punishment for attempting to commit intentional harm crimes, as the Jordanian legislator did not determine a punishment for attempting these kind of crimes, and there is no punishment for attempting to commit misdemeanors except by the law([5]) (Article 71 Of the Jordanian Penal Code([6])). Also, these crimes require the achievement of the result, which means it is not conceivable to attempt in general.

Consequently, if the person infected with the Coronavirus wanted to infect others with the intention of harming, and due to the circumstances beyond his control, this result was not achieved. Then, the perpetrator’s act forms a complete attempt ([7]) of intentional harm crime which is not punishable according to the Jordanian Penal Code.

  1. Murder:

Murder: It is eliminating life, or as Jurisprudence defines it: an assault on others’ life resulting in his\her\their death. Or it is taking away the soul of the living person ([8]).

The Jordanian legislator did not define the term murder, but only mentioned its types. The Jordanian Supreme Court considered the physical acts committed by the accused, which are strangling the victim by his both hands, sitting on his chest and pushing on his neck leading to his death, intentional taking away the soul of a living person([9]).

As mentioned previously there is no specific article in the Jordanian Penal Code that punishes the intentional or unintentional transmission of the Corona virus. Therefore, in this regard there are several descriptions of the transmission of the Corona virus leading to death which can be combined into three descriptions:

First description: Involuntary Murder

By reviewing the Article (343) of the Jordanian Penal Code, which states:

“Whoever causes the death of a person due to negligence or lack of due care or regard for laws or regulations, he / she shall be punished by imprisonment from six months to three years.”

It is clear from the previous article that the physical pillar of the crime of involuntary murder consists of three elements:

  • Life assault: knowing about being infected with Coronavirus and not complying with or neglecting isolation procedures.
  • Criminal result: infecting others with the virus which leads to death.
  • Causal relationship: where the result (death) has been achieved due to the perpetrator’s mistake or negligence.

Thus, a question arises, if a person transmitted a serious disease such as the Corona virus to another person, will it be an act of life assault constituting a murder crime if the result is achieved?

The answer to this question depends on whether or not considering the transmission of the corona infection as a method of killing. By reviewing the provisions of the Jordanian Penal Code, it is noticed that the Jordanian legislator did not indicate to a specific method for committing a murder, which means that there is no reason not to consider the transmission of the Coronavirus as a method to commit a murder as long as it led to death.

In addition to the physical pillar, the involuntary murder must have its moral pillar, which takes the image of mistake or negligence, such as neglecting isolation procedures and socializing with people despite of the awareness of the infection.

According to the above, if all these pillars are met, an involuntary murder will be constituted which occurred through the transmission of the Coronavirus infection.

Second description: Willful Murder

By reviewing the Articles (326 and 327) of the Jordanian Penal Code, which state:

“Article (326)

Any person who willfully kills a person shall be punished by imprisonment for twenty years with hard labor.

Article (327)

Willful murder shall be punished by life imprisonment with hard labor if committed:

  1. As a prelude to the commission of a misdemeanor or in order to facilitate the escape of the inciters or perpetrator or abettors of such a misdemeanor or in order to prevent their punishment.
  2. Against a public official while in the course of executing the duties of his/her office or if he/she is killed as a consequence of such duty.
  3. Against more than one person.
  4. with torturing the victim viciously before killing him/him.”

It is clear from the previous two articles that the difference between both of them lies in the punishment limit, whereas the legislator states in Article (327) circumstances that would increase the punishment limit, as according to Article (326) the punishment is imprisonment for twenty years with hard labor, but if the willful murder is accompanied by one of the aggravating circumstances stipulated in Article (327), the punishment will be life imprisonment with hard labor.

The pillars of the willful murder crime are:

  • The legal pillar: It is the presence of a text that bans the act of killing, as stipulated in Article (326) of the Jordanian Penal Code and beyond.
  • The physical pillar: It has three elements: Criminal behavior, criminal result, and the causal relationship between that behavior and result.
  • The criminal behavior: the act of life assault.
  • The criminal result: Death. This result must be actually achieved, as if the result is not achieved, it will be a complete\incomplete attempting of murder.
  • The causal relationship: The act of life assault should be related to the criminal result (death).
  • The moral pillar: The criminal intent, which is the will to commit a crime as defined by law (Article 63 of the Jordanian Penal Code)([10]) which consists of two elements: knowledge and will. This means that the perpetrator must know what he is doing, and his will must be directed to that act and to achieve the result. As this will must be free and aware.

According to the above, if all these pillars are met, As if a person infected with the Corona virus sneezes in the face of other person for the purpose of transmitting the infection and killing him\her, and the result is achieved. Then, a willful murder will be constituted which occurred through the transmission of the Coronavirus infection. The article that will be applied if such a similar case filed before the court is Article (326) of the Jordanian Penal Code, and the punishment will be imprisonment for twenty years with hard labor, this on the one hand.

On the other hand, if any of the aggravating circumstances which are stipulated in Article (327) of the Jordanian Penal Code accompanied with the perpetrator’s act mentioned in the previous paragraph, for example if the perpetrator sneezes or spits in the face of others (more than one person) for the purpose of transmitting the infection and killing them, and the result is achieved. Then Article (327\3) of the Jordanian Penal Code will be applied and the punishment will be life imprisonment with hard labor.

Third description: Premeditated Murder

The act is more dangerous and the punishment is more severe in case that act related to willful murder and prior planning, if it is proven that the person concerned, despite of his awareness of the infection, worked to direct his will to do actions that would expand the spread of the epidemic (Coronavirus).

For example: a person infected with the Corona virus planned to use some tools and give them to others for reusing, taking advantage of their naivety or their young age, for the purpose of transmitting the infection and killing them, and the result is achieved.

In this case, the Jordanian Penal Code includes a severe punishment if the court opines to adapt the act as premeditated murder, as Article (328) of the law states that:

“Willful murder shall be punished by the death penalty if committed:

  1. With premeditation, then it is called premeditated murder.
  2. As a prelude to the commission of a felony or in order to facilitate the escape of the inciters or perpetrators or abettors of such felony or in order to prevent their punishment.
  3. Against one of the perpetrator’s ancestors.”

It must be noted that Article (328) of the Jordanian Penal code did not come up with a new description of the crime of murder; it is as same as Article (327) of the law stipulating aggravating circumstances that make the penalty more severe if it is accompanied by one of them. But because of the severity of the punishment, its explanation was singled out in a separate description.

Based on the mentioned above, to apply Article (328) of the Jordanian Penal Code, it is required that the perpetrator’s act contains all the willful murder pillars stated in Article (326) of the same law, and accompanied by one of the aggravating circumstances stipulated in Article (328).

For example: if a person infected with the Corona virus sneezes in the face of his father for the purpose of transmitting the infection and killing him, and the result is achieved. Then, a willful murder accompanied by an aggravating circumstance will be constituted which occurred through the transmission of the Coronavirus infection. The Article (328\3) of the Jordanian Penal Code will be applied if such a similar case filed before the court and the punishment will be death penalty.

In this regard, it is noticed that unlike it in harm crimes, there is attempt in murder crimes, and there are punishments for attempting a murder whether it is accompanied by an aggravating circumstance or not, as the Jordanian legislator stated in Article (71\1) of the Jordanian penal code that “An attempt to commit a misdemeanor([11]) is not punishable unless in the instances explicitly stipulated by the law” which means by the opposite explanation that the scope of criminalization in felonies([12]) extends to the attempting of these crimes([13]).

There are two different types of attempt:

  • Incomplete attempt ([14]): Which involves an actor who has taken some action toward the completion of the crime (a substantial step), but is stopped before his or her intended actions are completed.

For example: Having Coronavirus and trying to sneeze or spit to others’ faces intentionally to transmit the infection and killing them, and then being tackled by a police officer before the victims are infected.

  • Complete attempts ([15]): Which involves an actor who does everything that he or she thinks is necessary in order to complete the targeted crime, but through sheer luck or some other reason beyond the actor’s control, the targeted crime was not achieved successfully.

For example: Having a Coronavirus and sneezing or spitting to others’ faces intentionally, or hugging and kissing others intentionally to transmit the infection and killing them, but the infection has not been transmitted to the intended victims.

Consequently, if the person infected with the Coronavirus wanted to infect others with the intention of killing, and due to the circumstances beyond his control, this result was not achieved. Then, the perpetrator’s act forms a complete or an incomplete attempt of murder crime which is punishable according to Articles (68 and 70) of the Jordanian Penal Code.([16])

Finally, differentiation must be made between two issues, whether the perpetrator knew that he\she is infected or not?

The answer of this question is an affirmation of the necessity of the moral pillar of the intentional crimes previously explained in this research paper, which means that he\she must be aware that he\she is infected so we can adapt the previous descriptions on his\her acts, and the perpetrator must know what he\she is doing, and his\her will must be directed to that act and to achieve the result.

The intention of law enforcement is not to spread fear among innocent individuals and that they will be imprisoned if they spread the disease (Coronavirus) among those around them, but the purpose is to deter the violators of the Law and regulations. Thus, if he\she does not know that he\she is infected, he\she will not be punished.

  1. Conclusion

The law exists to organize societies and protect individuals and public order within its three meanings: public security, public health and public tranquility. Therefore, the law must be used in a way to limit the spread of the virus among individuals in case of the abstaining from abiding by the instructions of the competent authorities intending to harm others. Those people should be deterred by imposing the maximum penalties on them for committing a criminal offence that is punishable by the law, to help reduce cases early without allowing the virus to penetrate among people.

Thus, the legislator must intervene explicitly to create a legislative text that punishes the transmission of infection between individuals intentionally or unintentionally by negligence, and explain in detail the pillars of each crime that is acted by this method and its punishment.

As much as we wish this epidemic will pass safely. However, the legislation must be amended and activated in order to face similar cases in the future, God forbid.

  1. References
  • Abu Shamma, Ibrahim, Jordanian Penal Code – Crimes against people – lectures at the Judicial Institute of Jordan, (2018).
  • Coronavirus confirmed as pandemic by World Health Organization, BBC News, published on 11 March 2020, viewed on 20 March 2020, URL: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-51839944
  • Husni, Mahmoud Najib, Explaining the Jordanian penal code, private section, (6th ed, 2018).
  • Indiana v. Haines, 545 N.E.2d 834 (Ind.App.2nd Dist. 1989).
  • Najem, Mohammad Subhi, Crimes against people, (1th ed, 2002).
  • The Jordanian Penal Code (NO. 16 of 1960 with its amendments).
  • The Jordanian Public Health Law (NO. 47 of 2008 with its amendments).
  • The Jordanian Supreme Court decisions.___________________________________________________________________________

([1]) Coronavirus confirmed as pandemic by World Health Organization – BBC News

([2]) Abu Shamma, Ibrahim, (2018), Jordanian Penal Code – Crimes against people – lectures at the Judicial Institute of Jordan.

([3]) The article 63 of the Jordanian penal law states “Intent is the will to commit the crime as defined by law.”

([4]) The Article (57) of the Jordanian Penal Code states: “1. If the act has many definitions all of which were mentioned in the judgment, the court has to impose the most severe penalty. 2. If the act has a general and a specific definition, then the court has to take into consideration the specific one.”

([5]) Please read the Jordanian Supreme Court decision No. 3916\2019 date 22\1\2020, and the decision No. 2425\2018 date 18\9\2018, and the decision No. 1612\2018 date 19\7\2018.

([6]) The article 71 of the Jordanian penal law states “1. An attempt to commit a misdemeanor is not punishable unless in the instances explicitly stipulated by the law. 2. If the law provides for a penalty for the attempt to commit a misdemeanor, the penalty shall not exceed half of the maximum penalty prescribed for the crime, unless the law provides otherwise.”

([7]) There are two different types of attempt: complete attempts and incomplete attempts. A complete attempt involves an actor who does everything that he or she thinks is necessary in order to complete the target offense, but through sheer luck or some other reason beyond the actor’s control, the target offense is unsuccessful. (For example, having a Coronavirus and sneezing or spitting to others’ faces intentionally, or hugging and kissing others intentionally, but the infection doesn’t being transmitted to the intended victims.) An incomplete attempt involves an actor who has taken some action toward the completion of the crime (a substantial step), but is stopped before his or her intended actions are completed (For example, having Coronavirus and trying to sneeze or spit to others’ faces intentionally and then being tackled by a police officer before the victim is harmed.)

([8]) Husni, Mahmoud Najib, Explaining the Jordanian penal code, private section, page 320. And Najem, Mohammad, Crimes against people, page 12.

([9]) Please read the Jordanian Supreme Court decision No. 38\2007 date 11\3\2007, and the decision No. 744\2002 date 17\9\2002.

([10]) The article 63 of the Jordanian penal law states “Intent is the will to commit the crime as defined by law.”

([11]) A crime punishable by a fine and/or imprisonment for up to three years. As the Article (15) of the Jordanian Penal code states “Penalties for Misdemeanors: 1. Imprisonment 2. Fine 3. Bail bond”, and the Article (21) of the same law states “Imprisonment is the placement of the convicted person in one of the state prisons for the period of the verdict which ranges between one week and three years unless the law provides otherwise.”

([12]) A felony is a category of crimes that are often classified as the most serious type of offenses. As  the Article (14) of the Jordanian Penal code states “Criminal penalties are: 1. Death penalty 2. Life imprisonment with hard labor 3. Life detention 4. Temporary imprisonment with hard labor 5. Temporary detention.”

([13]) Please read the Jordanian Supreme Court decision No. 2550\2018 date 9\10\2018.

([14]) The Article (68) of the Jordanian Penal code states “An attempt is to begin executing one of the acts which appear to lead to the commission of a felony or a misdemeanor. If the perpetrator could not complete the acts needed to commit such felony or misdemeanor for reasons beyond his / her will, and unless the law provides otherwise, he / she shall be punished according to the following: 1. Life or temporary imprisonment with hard labor ranging between seven to twenty years if the attempted crime penalty is death, and at least five years of --------- said penalty if the original penalty is life imprisonment with hard labor or life detention. 2. Any other original temporary penalty has to be reduced from one half to two thirds.”

([15]) The Article (70) of the Jordanian Penal code states “If all the acts needed to complete the crime were taken but for reasons, independent from the perpetrator intent, the deliberate crime did not materialize, he/she shall be punished as follows: 1. Life or temporary imprisonment with hard labor from ten to twenty years if the attempted felony is punishable by death penalty. Seven to twenty years of the same penalty if the original penalty is life imprisonment with hard labor or life detention. 2. Any other penalty has to be reduced by one third to one half.”

([16]) In practice, there is a similar case of attempting murder by transmission HIV infection. Please See. Indiana v. Haines, 545 N.E.2d 834 (Ind.App.2nd Dist. 1989). The Facts “On August 6, 1987, Lafayette, Indiana, police officers John R. Dennis (Dennis) and Brad Hayworth drove to Haines' apartment in response to a radio call of a possible suicide. Haines was unconscious when they arrived and was lying face down in a pool of blood. Dennis attempted to revive Haines and noticed that Haines' wrists were slashed and bleeding. When Haines heard the paramedics arriving, he stood up, ran toward Dennis, and screamed that he should be left to die because he had AIDS. Dennis told Haines they were there to help him, but he continued yelling and stated he wanted to f____ Dennis and "give it to him." Haines told Dennis that he would "use his wounds" and began jerking his arms at Dennis, causing blood to spray into Dennis' mouth and eyes. Throughout the incident, as the officers attempted to subdue him, Haines repeatedly yelled that he had AIDS, that he could not deal with it and that he was going to make Dennis deal with it. Haines also struggled with emergency medical technicians Dan Garvey (Garvey) and Diane Robinson threatening to infect them with AIDS and began spitting at them. When Dennis grabbed Haines, Haines scratched, bit, and spit at him. At one point, Haines grabbed a blood-soaked wig and struck Dennis in the face with it. This caused blood again to splatter onto Dennis' eyes, mouth, and skin. When Dennis finally handcuffed Haines, Dennis was covered with blood. He also had scrapes and scratches on his arms and a cut on his finger that was bleeding. When Haines arrived at the hospital, he was still kicking, screaming, throwing blood, and spitting at Dennis, Garvey, and another paramedic, Rodney Jewell. Haines again announced that he had AIDS and that he was going to show everyone else what it was like to have the disease and die. At one point, Haines bit Garvey on the upper arm, breaking the skin.”--- The Sentence “The court of appeals held that the state need not show Haines's conduct could have actually killed. It was sufficient to show that Haines did everything he believed necessary to attempt the murder, regardless of whether it was actually possible. Thus, the case was reversed and returned to the trial court with instructions to reinstate the jury's verdict and resentence Haines for three counts of attempted murder.”