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.