Asperger Syndrome gets 45 years for non-violent crimes and Drew Peterson gets 38 years.

The Criminalization of the Mentally Ill in Iowa City and Cook County Jail
by Joseph M. Jason
“You may be 38 years old, as I happen to be. And one day, some great opportunity stands before you and calls you to stand up for some great principle, some great issue, some great cause. And you refuse to do it because you are afraid…. You refuse to do it because you want to live longer…. You’re afraid that you will lose your job, or you are afraid that you will be criticized or that you will lose your popularity, or you’re afraid that somebody will stab you, or shoot at you or bomb your house; so you refuse to take the stand… Well, you may go on and live until you are 90, but you’re just as dead at 38 as you would be at 90. And the cessation of breathing in your life is but the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? And when I am for myself, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?” – Hillel the Elder
“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow.” – The Golden Rule
We all need to make a difference and stand up against injustice just as the abolitionists did not so long in our history against the practice of slavery. We must raise our voices and say enough of the incarceration of the mentally ill. No more. No more. No more. We need state and federal funding to take care of our loved ones. Every family has a mentally ill person they know.
This month I’d like to share an email and a video from Mandy Romero. I should warn you that the video is quite upsetting, but it does talk about a new program that could benefit the mentally ill.
Sheriff’s office releases shocking video of mentally ill inmates
“I thought you all would like to see this if you did not catch it on the news last night. And this is where some of our loved ones have been for years! On March 11th 2013 my husband will be marking his two and a half year anniversary at Cook County Jail. And still has not even had his fitness hearing (which is to determine if he is mentally fit for trial).” mentally-ill-inmates/
It goes on and on. Since Mandy sent this email, the Tribune wrote this story about abuse of mentally-ill inmates at Cook County: 20130223_1_jail-officers-inmates-cook-county-prosecutor
My son’s situation in Iowa
I have reached out to National NAMI in regards to my son’s case, since I believe they should become more involved in individual cases. From a recent email:
Mr. Honberg:
Recent actions of the prosecution in Iowa City are indicative of the criminalization of Asperger Syndrome. My wife and I met with the prosecutor in December of last year and explained Asperger Syndrome and mental illness. We explained that our son’s behavior is childlike rather than criminal. We told them he needs treatment and not incarceration. We gave them a forensic psychiatrist’s report that demonstrates he is not violent. He is a nuisance. We told them that his behavior according to Dr. Mills is typical of one with Asperger Syndrome. We told them he has an organic brain disorder. One of the prosecutors told me everyone is jail is mentally ill, and the head of the office seemed sympathetic to the chronic sorrow.
I had a deposition recently and they tried to twist Dr. Mills’ report. They not only want to lock him away for 45 years, but they extended the time period of the stalking to include the time he has been in jail. That is punishment fit for a major drug dealer and/or murderer. This case, as it always has, cries out for treatment and not incarceration.
Daniel was living with us for the entire time and did not go to Iowa. This has not stopped the charges of stalking and extortion. This is not what our founding fathers envisioned that America should be. Daniel has already been in jail and prisons for most of the time since 2007. Dr. Mills has stated that Daniels’s so called criminal conduct is caused by his Asperger Syndrome. “Mr. Jason cannot legitimately be considered morally responsible for his misconduct.” Dr. Mills also states that “The lack of significant history of violence is important.” As stated in the article, Forensic aspects of Asperger’s Syndrome by Justin B. Barry- Walsh and Paul E. Mullen in the Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology,”It behooves us to draw to the court’s attention the obvious: that patients with Asperger’s Syndrome suffer from mental disorder and that their offending and subsequent disposition must be placed in this context. The core features of Asperger’s Syndrome and how they determine what the individual knows and understand of the world should form a basis for sophisticated assessment of the issues of disability.”
A recent tragic development is that my son fired his Attorney on February 19th and he believed this was a winnable case. NAMI National does not get involved in individual cases. I think they should on a limited basis. Even Drew Peterson received less of a sentence than my son is facing. Let’s end with one more quote:
“Did we make a difference? We must make a difference.” (William Shatner as Captain Kirk in one of the Star Trek movies) Stay strong members of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Continue to advocate. I am proud to be your chapter president and applaud every member of NAMI.


4 thoughts on “Asperger Syndrome gets 45 years for non-violent crimes and Drew Peterson gets 38 years.

  1. So stalking isn’t violent, just a little nuisance that a girl should just ignore? Posting vile pics of women childlike, as a 19 year old woman with ASD who has had issues in a relationship with a male with AS I hope your son does get 45 years for all of the pain he caused to his victim! Maybe you should have taught him how to treat women! And ya know what, the sad thing is that he might win, considering how women are treated like shit in this country!

    • Miss Marley:
      I would suggest that you listen to my radio interview and become acquainted with the characteristics of Asperger Syndrome. Also become acquainted with the NAMI web site and
      organic brain disorders.

      • I am very well acquainted with ASD, I have it, I suggest you become more acquainted with my comment. I admit my comment was emotional, but your son needs to learn not to harass people (yes, women are people too). What i find insulting is that you describe his deviant behavior as childlike! Gosh, what should his victim have done, just taken the abuse??? It is not ASD being criminalized, it is stalking and harassment. As a woman with ASD and MI I do not want to be blamed or unheard if i suffer such abuse, should I stay silent?

  2. And for the record, I am sorry I said I hope he gets 45 years in prison, that will make it worse. However, I cannot unsee the other side of this. If your son were to get off, what would you do to prevent this???

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