Recent research in the field of mental retardation has pointed to a better-defined population with exacting prevalence of the basic pathology and related disabilities. Advances in the areas of prevention and treatment have further reduced the prevalence and incidence of mental retardation. Current legislation and legislative procedures have led to a more equitable and fairer application of human rights to all citizens. However, discrepancies and ambiguities still remain with respect to interpretation of the spirit of the law as related to the retarded. Financial restraints and serious economic hardship have impacted on social and political attitudes and created two-tier systems of the rich and poor with the retarded referred to as "surplus population." This situation has, in turn, influenced the availability of resources, manpower, training, and research in this field. The future could be brighter if sociologic and philosophic changes parallel technologic advances. It is our duty and commitment to continue and further the developments in all spheres relevant to the retarded in order to maximize human potential whenever possible.
The main aim of the Swedish Women's Peace reform in 1998 was to enhance criminal legal protection for women exposed to violence in heterosexual relationships and to promote gender equality. However, these ambitions risk being contravened in a masculinist criminal legal system. One problem concerns how the victim is constructed in criminal legal cases. The author argues that moral balancing and discourses of responsibility and guilt in Swedish cases constrain the agency possible for women and suggest that a more comprehensive policy in Sweden must be developed to include violent men, their agency, and their responsibility for the violence.
On June 19, 1998, Alaskan governor Tony Knowles vetoed legislation that would have made it a felony to knowingly expose a person to HIV. Senate Bill 17 would have made criminal transmission of HIV a Class B felony, carrying a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $50,000. The legislation would have applied to those who knowingly expose others to HIV through sex or needle-sharing without informing their partners. The bill also would have made it illegal for people who know they are HIV positive to donate organs, semen, or ova.