01335-AB et al

ACT UP Needle Exchange Trial
[camera original] [ ] [misc videographers]

Needle Exchange Trial [tape 7]. Trial Court footage of AIDS activists arrested for distributing clean needles to IV drug addicts. 4/91, 2-hours

[This videotape labeled in the following way : ]
#7 Needle Exchange Trial: Jon Parker, Cynthia, Ottur, Monica, Gregg Bordorwitz

[from the ACT UP/NY Capsule History: ]
February 1991 -- Ten people, who had been charged with possession of needles with the intent to distribute them to IV drug users on the Lower East Side (NYC), are brought to Trial and later acquitted by a judge who agreed that the "Necessity Defense" applied to their case. The judge ruled that the activists' actions were justified by the need to try to save the lives of people vulnerable to HIV infection.

The "necessity defense" applies to the following circumstances, all must be true:

  • 1) 'the conduct was necessary to avoid eminent harm to a person or the public,
  • 2) 'there was no adequate alternative for avoiding the harm,
  • 3) 'the harm caused by the act was not disproportionate to the harm avoided,
  • 4) 'the defendant had a good-faith belief that the act was necessary to prevent harm, and
  • 5) 'the defendant believed his or her behavior to be reasonable.'
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    see also other original tapes on Needle Exchange Trial