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High Crimes & Misdemeanors

Coronarvirus - The Discount Bioweapon

Posted by Alan Levine | Mar 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

Biowarfare has been with us for millennia. Around 400 BC, Scythian archers infected their arrows by dipping them in decomposing bodies or in blood mixed with manure. Today, bioterrorists cough on produce at the grocery store.

The Age of COVID-19 - or Back to the Future

Around 400 BC, Scythian archers engaged in biowarfare, infecting their arrows by dipping them in decomposing bodies or blood mixed with manure. These days, a Pennsylvania grocer had to throw away $35,000 worth of product after a woman coughed on it. The idea she may have committed an act of bioterrorism is intriguing. But, in Georgia, she at least could be charged for OCGA Sec. 16-7-22, Criminal Damage to Property 1st Degree, which carries a sentence from 1 to 10 years.

As for bioterrorism, OCGA Sec. 16-7-88(a) states, in relevant part: "Any person who possesses, transports . . . [a] biological weapon with the knowledge or intent that it will be used to kill, injure, or intimidate any individual . . . shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than ten nor more than 20 years or by a fine of not more than $125,000.00 or both[.]"

Another possible Georgia criminal statute on point is OCGA 16-11-37 (c)(3) for commission of a terroristic act addressing how a "hazardous substance or any simulated hazardous substance" may not be used.

But, one must also consider that this woman may be mentally ill. See more about the story here.

Coronarvirus - The Discount Bioweapon, Part 2

And in New Jersey, a woman under arrest for DUI added to her charges by breathing on the police officers and falsely claiming she had the coronavirus. Lea Piazza, 28, was arrested in Hanover, Morris County, on March 12 after being involved in a single car crash. Now she has to answer for the charge of causing a false public alarm. In Ms. Piazza's defense, she did call the police after bonding out to apologize for her behavior. And, she was drunk - allegedly. Read more here.

Coronarvirus - The Discount Bioweapon, Part 3

The woman in Part 1 has been identified as 35-year old Margaret Cirko. She has now been charged with two felony counts of making terrorist threats, one felony count of threatening to use a biological agent, one felony count of criminal mischief, and a misdemeanor counts of criminal attempt to commit retail theft and disorderly conduct. She is also undergoing a mental health evaluation. See here.

About the Author

Alan Levine

You've been arrested for a DUI. Now what? Do you need an attorney? Almost certainly, yes. There's too much at stake in terms of your driving privileges, job and career, reputation, and normalcy of life, to just go this alone and hope for the best. And DUI law is not easy law. It can be more com...


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