Testimony Provided to Kellie Tuttle Re:IOwa City Police Department and Johnson County Prosecutors Office

The following is testimony from Joseph M. Jason-President of National Alliance on Mental Illness-BA regarding inappropriate handling of people with Asperger Syndrome by the Iowa City Police Department and Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office  Re: Daniel S. Jason
 
 
To: Kellie Tuttle
From:Joseph M. Jason-President-National Alliance on Mental Illness-BA
 
Email sent 04/05/2014
Mr. Hargadine:
I also wanted to share my criticism of your police department with you.  
 
 
I just wanted to give you information on the Criminalization of Asperger Syndrome in Iowa City.  I watched the trial of my son. Your police department is also a large part of the problem in the Criminalization of Asperger Syndrome. They have been part of implementing cruel and unusual punishment on the autistic community.    I have done radio interviews and been interviewed for new articles.  Your police officers do not understand mental illness and Asperger Syndrome nor do they want to.  I thought it was very interesting that Detective Hartman ignored me when I met with him. He was just typing and doing his work.  Also he did not bother to watch Dr. Mills testify regarding Daniel’s actions.  He only listened to Dr. Gunter who did not have the cooperation of Daniel.
This has been a shameful episode in Iowa City. My son could get 55 years for non-violent crimes.  He never went to Iowa and never harmed anybody.  Detective Hartman’s deposition was filled with numerous factual inaccuracies.  He looked all over for the whereabouts for Daniel.  He contacted shelters and motels.  He did everything, but call my house where Daniel was living.  
 
Joseph M. Jason, President NAMI BA (847)537-3009
Board Member of Criminal Justice Advocacy for People with Mental Illness
Board Member CURE Illinois 
583 Cobblestone Lane
Buffalo Grove, Illinois 60089

 
                                                                                                                                                             
 The following is testimony presented to Washington.
 
 
04/04/2014
To:Ms. Lina Perez
Office of Autism Research Coordination
National Institutes of Mental Health, NIH
6001 Executive Boulevard, NSC
Room 6182A
Rockville, MD 20852
Phone: 301-443-6040
To: kellie-tuttle@iowa-city.org
From: Joseph M. Jason-President of National Alliance on Mental Illness-Barrington Area and CURE Illinois Board Director
 
My son with Asperger Syndrome has undergone cruel and unusual punishment in the State of Iowa by the state and federal government since March of 2007. He has been incarcerated with the exception of four months in jails and prisons for non-violent crimes. Please read the following information from my petition that follows.  I have done a radio interview and had articles written in the paper about the grave injustice happening to my son due to his Asperger Syndrome.
 
 
 
The crucifixion of Daniel S. Jason in Iowa City, Iowa Posted onSeptember 28, 2013 by josephmjason Overzealous Prosecutors in Johnson County take care of the mentally ill problem by Joseph M. Jason-President NAMI BA   Iowa prosecutors are intending to convict my son and send him to prison again for perhaps 55 years for non-violent crimes.  The trial  was going to commence  October 22, 2013, but there had been a continuance. The trial took place on February 25, 2014 and lasted three days.  The actions of the prosecution in Iowa City are indicative of the criminalization of Asperger Syndrome.   My son was tried at this date for extortion and stalking. My son sent various emails and made two phone calls. These charges are a travesty. My wife and I met with the prosecutor in December of 2012 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. His criminal behavior consists only of phone calls and emails.  This meeting has made no difference.    If the Iowa prosecutor’s office was serious about avoiding an expensive trial, they would have offered a humane plea agreement.  Instead they offered an agreement of ten years. During the trial Dr. Mills testified that Daniel has no history of violence. In fact people with Asperger Syndrome are more likely to be bullied.   Daniel did not have intent and is not a stalker. His actions are part of having Asperger Syndrome and not a suitor stalker.  His actions were flawed and ambivalent.  He did not want to contact his ex-girlfriend so he chose a flawed way.  He had her phone number and did not call it.  He was blowing off steam.  Daniel cannot connect the dots.  There is a disconnect between how we feel and how he feels.  Daniel made reference to an embarrassing incident in the Johnson county auditor’s office.  This referred to an employee who defecated in their pants.  He was given two counts of extortion for this by overzealous Johnson County prosecutors. 
 
 Perhaps the voters of Iowa should be told how much it has cost to prosecute and imprison Daniel in Iowa.     The typical offender sitting in Johnson County right now has been charged with robbery, theft, murder, sexual abuse, domestic abuse assault, drug offenses etc.  My son is not a thug, but yet will get the stiffest sentence out of all of them.  It is the criminalization of Asperger Syndrome.       A full one-third of the nation’s states get a D or F grade for using mental health courts and crisis intervention teams (CIT) – diversion programs proven to reduce the criminalization of mental illness, the study found.  Iowa received a well deserved F.   “People with untreated psychiatric disease should be getting the treatment they need before law enforcement shows up at their door because of behaviors caused by their illness,” said Doris A. Fuller, executive director.     I had a deposition earlier this year recently and they tried to twist Dr. Mills’ report. They not only want to lock him away for 55 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.  I have found a place for my son to live.  It is called Trinity in Illinois and it is an excellent place for people with issues similar to my son.  That is where he belongs.  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.” .NAMI National , Senator Durbin,  and Senator Harkin have been apprised of this situation.. The Autism Society of America believes this to be the most egregious case in the United States.  Even Drew Peterson  and other murderers have received less of a sentence than my son is facing.     Daniel has a brain disorder and needs mental health treatment not incarceration. National organizations such as NAMI and CURE are following this trial.  This typifies everything that is wrong in the State of Iowa regarding the Criminalization of the Mentally Ill and Asperger Syndrome.  This Criminalization of the Mentally ill must be confronted and stopped.  I have seen and heard the overzealous prosecutors.  It took courageous people to say no to slavery in our history.  We must say no to the incarceration of our non-violent mentally ill.  This is my mission in life.   I have personally endorsed John Zimmerman for Johnson county Attorney.  He gets it.     
 
 
 
 
 Finally here is an email sent to National NAMI-Ron Honberg on April 20, 2014
 Ron:
My son is having another trial on Tuesday, April 22 for being a habitual offender.   He is on the way of getting a potential 55 years.  H e was found guilty of stalking and extortion in his previous trial This must be an issue addressed by National NAMI in the White House and all over the country. How can you charge a non-violent offender with this when they have an organic brain disorder that needs medication?    I am appalled by the injustice in Iowa City and the Criminalization of Asperger Syndrome.  They have a lynch mob mentality within Johnson County.  The Judge did not allow Dr. Mill’s testimony as the primary testimony.  It was only allowed as a rebuttal.  The Judge would not allow a continuance to have Daniel sign over his medical records. Thus the other Forensic Psychiatrist who spent very little time with Daniel and did not have his cooperation was the primary evidence in the trial.   Also the Johnson County Board supervisor is stating that Daniel will kill his ex-girlfriend if he is released.   I question whether the county is capable of having a fair trial. 


They allowed evidence in the trial for which he was convicted of when he defended himself.  This by itself is grounds for Appeal.


During the trial Dr. Mills testified that Daniel has no history of violence. In fact people with Asperger Syndrome are more likely to be bullied.   Daniel did not have intent and is not a stalker. His actions are part of having Asperger Syndrome and not a suitor stalker.  His actions were flawed and ambivalent.  He did not want to contact his ex-girlfriend so he chose a flawed way.  He had her phone number and did not call it.  He was blowing off steam.  Daniel cannot connect the dots.  There is a disconnect between how we feel and how he feels.  Daniel made reference to an embarrassing incident in the Johnson county auditor’s office.  This referred to an employee who defecated in their pants.  He was given two counts of extortion for this by overzealous Johnson County prosecutors. 



The bottom line is Daniel is non-violent based upon his history and this time never went to Iowa City.  They could have contacted me without arresting him.  I am personally trying to help the candidate running against this overzealous prosecutor.    I have blogged all over the internet to get the truth out there.  John Zimmerman is a progressive person who gets it.   


This case has national consequences.  We must do everything that we can do to stop this Criminalization of Asperger Syndrome and mental illness.  There are many other cases out there where people also need help.  Dr. Mills said this was in the top 2 or three for most egregious cases.  He is appalled and upset by the convictions and he is an Asperger Syndrome expert.  


We must save a life and save a world.  
 
 
Joseph M. Jason, President NAMI BA

Board Member of Criminal Justice Advocacy for People with Mental Illness

Member/Director of CURE

(847)537-3009
 
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

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