In my world of justice, the following would be arrested by the Department of Justice for the following crimes:
Judge Paul Miller-Cruel and unusual punishment in sentencing non-violent offender Daniel S. Jason to 45 years for two voice mails and 16 emails. He thinks Asperger Syndrome is mild and a defendant should show remorse.
Janet Lyness-Johnson County Prosecutor-Overzealous prosecution of person with Asperger Syndrome and prosecutorial negligence.
Chief of Police-Sam Hargadine-Overzealous charging and no interest in learning about Asperger Syndrome.
Prosecutor Beth Beglin-Overzealous prosecution of people with Asperger Syndrome and mental illness.
Various members of the Iowa City police force for holding themselves out as experts on stalking when the opposite was true.
While the rest of the country is trying to reduce their prison population, Iowa City is doing the opposite and imposing incarceration instead of treatment.
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As noted, the Stalking statute’s purpose is to sweep so broadly as to capture
the mentally ill who do not intend to cause fear of harm to another. Daniel asserts
that the broad sweep of this statute, the deliberate attempt to criminalize the
conduct of mentally ill, and the absence of threats of harm or making any effort to
come within proximity of Ms. Courter in 2012, all are factors that bring this 45
year sentence within the purview of Art. I, § 17 of the Iowa Constitution, which
prohibits cruel and unusual punishment.
As previously noted, Daniel’s conduct in 2012 was viewed as irritating and obnoxious and detrimental by Ms. Courter,
but it included no violence or even threats of violence. Daniel did not touch Ms. Courter, or even come within the borders of the
State of Iowa.
Follow the link for the actual Appeal.
Dear Department of Justice
The United States Supreme Court stated: The purpose of a recidivist statute such as that involved here is not to simplify the task of prosecutors, judges, or juries. Its primary goals are to deter repeat offenders and, at some point in the life of one who repeatedly commits criminal offenses serious enough to be punished as felonies, to segregate that person from the rest of society for an extended period of time. This segregation and its duration are based not merely on that person’s most recent offense but also on the propensities he has demonstrated over a period of time during which he has been convicted of and sentenced for other crimes.
As an advocate involved with various organizations, I state that The Habitual Offender Law was not meant for offenders who send non-threatening emails and voice messages. It was meant for violent thugs.
It was not meant for those with Asperger Syndrome who have organic brain disorders and who are non-violent offenders. It was not meant for the mentally ill who are non-violent.
The State of Iowa has become a place where you are incarcerated for most of your life based upon the opinion of overzealous prosecutors, judges and Police Chiefs who do not have the appropriate knowledge on Asperger Syndrome. Iowa practices what occurred in the movie Minority Report. Iowa will incarcerate you for your whole life even though you have never been violent. The deck is stacked against our most vulnerable citizens.
If you have Asperger Syndrome, do not expect any form of justice in Iowa if you are caught up in their legal system. Treatment and not incarceration would have been the true humane sentence instead of a 45 year sentence for Daniel S. Jason. That is what the National Alliance on Mental Illness believes. ” NAMI believes that persons who have committed offenses due to states of mind or behavior caused by a serious mental illness do not belong in penal or correctional institutions. Such persons require treatment, not punishment. A prison or jail is never an optimal therapeutic setting.
According to the Iowa – Treatment Advocacy Center Reports:
Iowa is a “state that is among the stingiest in state mental health expenditures per capita and among the states making the least effort at jail diversion programs. The re-incarceration rate among mentally ill males in the state prisons is twice the rate of non–mentally ill prisoners, and among females, three times as high (Des Moines Register, July 30, 2011). Headlines such as “State Pays Woman Who Blinded Herself in Prison” (Des Moines Register, May 28, 2009) have become more frequent. Court awards are costly, and the incarceration of mentally ill prisoners is far more expensive than it is for other prisoners. The Iowa legislature is mistaken in thinking it is saving money by not treating seriously mentally ill people.”
Joseph M. Jason
NAMI BA President
CURE IL Board Member
Member of ACLU
Ann Browning and Laura Caulfield
criminal justice system
The prevalence and treatment of people with Asperger’s Syndrome in the criminal justice system
Understandings of Asperger’s Syndrome in the Criminal Justice System
Numerous authorities have expressed concern that those working within the criminal
justice sector lack the requisite training to respond effectively to those with AS (Allen
et al., 2008; Archer, 2007; Bather et al., 2008; Debbaudt, 2002; Haskins and Silva, 2006; Mayes, 2003; Murrie et al., 2002). Archer (2007), a serving Police Inspector and father to a son with AS, claims that very few professionals in the criminal justice system have any real understanding of autism, and highlights that many with ASDs remain undiagnosed, misdiagnosed as schizophrenic, diagnosed after imprisonment (Mayes, 2003); or while detained in a mental health facility (Scragg and Shah, 1994). According to the National Autistic Society (NAS), 90 per cent of police officers and 80 per cent of
solicitors consider understandings of autism within the legal profession to be inadequate (Adams-Spink, 2005), thus lending credence to the view that the criminal justice system is not sufficiently knowledgeable to manage effectively those with AS. Murrie et al. (2002) suggest that the responses of criminal justice professionals and those involved in the justice process are inconsistent, particularly in terms of sentencing. They argue that an offender with AS who demonstrates a deficit of empathy may be misunderstood and thought of as cold, calculating, remorseless and as such potentially a recidivist offender – thus eliciting little sympathy. The outcome may differ significantly however if: the decision-maker sees deficient empathy as a neurobiological deficit, it may be a mitigating factor that elicits sympathy from the police, prosecutors, or jurors who feel compassion for a person with an impoverished emotional life and see the defendant as congenitally deficient in one or more of the normal inhibitors against crime. (Murrie et al., 2002: 66)
Having explored the experiences of six individuals with AS who became involved
with the criminal justice sector, Allen et al. (2008) conclude that those with the disorder
are vulnerable and describe how the majority of individuals with a diagnosis of AS who
do fall foul of the law struggle to negotiate the criminal justice system. Mayes (2003: 98)
in particular writes of the lack of understanding demonstrated within the judicial process, and expresses concerns that:
a criminal defendant with autism may find his fate resting in the hands of jurors who may entertain common misperceptions about autism, and who may be sceptical of expert witnesses who themselves may not be familiar with autism … the life and liberty of a criminal defendant with autism may rest in the hands of an ‘expert’ who has only a cursory knowledge of the defendant’s impairment.”