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Feces Flinging Prisoners Receiving Lengthy Sentences

An emerging trend of sentences reveals that courts are imposing lengthy sentences on prisoners who throw bodily fluids on guards. In recent years, State Legislators have created new felony offenses that heavily penalize anyone who flings bodily fluids on guards. The philosophy behind these laws, supposedly, is to protect guards from potentially deadly diseases that may be contained in body fluids.

In June, 2003, a Texas Court in Huntsville sentenced prisoner Bobby Ferguson, 37, to 50 years after he was convicted of harassing guard John Pope. The charge was based on Ferguson throwing a milk carton full of feces on Pope in January 2002. Ferguson was angry because he was forced to move out of his Huntsville prison cell into another cell without his belongings.

In Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, John Carl Marquez, 36, was arrested on suspicion of beating his wife. At the time of his arrest, Marquez spit in the arresting officer's face. Marquez was convicted of "placing bodily fluid upon a government employee." Despite Marquez and the arresting officer testing negative for any communicable disease, Marquez was sentenced to life in prison in July, 2003, as he had prior convictions.

The May 2003 edition of PLN reported the conviction of Texas prisoner Jeffery Wheatley for flinging feces on guards. Wheatley was sentenced to 20 years. Texas prosecutor Kelly T. Weeks says defendants regularly receive 15-20 year sentences upon plea bargain for similar offenses. Ferguson was the third prisoner to take his case to trial in Texas. He refused a plea bargain.

At the current rate, there seems to be little or no difference in the penalty for physically assaulting or stabbing a guard and that being imposed for flinging feces or urine on guards.

Sources: The Houston Chronicle; CNW. com

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