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Exhibition Drawing Justice: The Art of Courtroom Illustration

Marilyn Church. 1st AIDS Case, October 26, 1984. Colored pencil, water-soluble crayon, porous point pen, and graphite on olive Canson wove paper. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (014.00.00)
LC-DIG-ppmsca-50998 © Marilyn Church
Gift of the family of Marilyn Church

Fear of a Defendant with AIDS in 1984

Edward Coaxum, wearing a surgical mask, sits while his lawyer, Frank Gould, stands before the jury. Accused of stabbing a man to death in an area of East Harlem where drug addicts gathered, Coaxum faced prejudice as a man stricken with AIDS in his 1984 trial. New York State Supreme Court Justice Arnold G. Fraiman permitted nervous jurors to be excused or wear protective clothing. At a time before there were effective treatments for AIDS, Coaxum died before his case could be heard on appeal.