[ASAN] Call for Hate Crime Prosecution for Murder of Autist

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KenG
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18 Jun 2013, 4:37 pm

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ASAN Calls for Federal Hate Crime Prosecution for the Murder of Alex Spourdalakis

Last week, Alex Spourdalakis, a 14-year Autistic boy living in River Grove, Illinois, was murdered by his mother and godmother. After failing to kill him with sleeping pills, they stabbed him in the chest repeatedly before slitting his wrists. This murder was premeditated and motivated entirely by Alex's disability.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network condemns unequivocally and without qualification the murder of Alex Spourdalakis and calls on the United States Department of Justice to prosecute his murder under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. The law allows the federal government to prosecute as a hate crime acts of violence when "the crime was committed because of the actual or perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability of any person." Alex's murder clearly fits within the intent and purpose of that law.

Many in the media have attempted to excuse Alex's murder or sympathize with his killers, citing the challenges of his disability and the need to improve the quality and availability of service-provision. Such justifications are not unusual in the aftermath of such atrocities and they remain as inappropriate as ever. Alex Spourdalakis' murder is the latest in a long strand of similar killings by family members and caregivers. His death is not about services, nor is it about the difficulties associated with his disability. Prior to murdering him, Alex’s mother was offered and refused services from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. In truth, Alex's murder is about a reprehensible and repulsive ideology all too common within our society that preaches that it is better to be dead than disabled. As long as our society treats the lives of disabled people as worth less than those of the general population, more disabled children and adults will be subject to acts of violence and murder. As a result, we call for the prosecution of Alex's killers to the fullest extent of the law.

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network
PO Box 66122 | Washington, DC 20035 US


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Thelibrarian
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18 Jun 2013, 4:42 pm

Being autistiic myself, I have to wonder why my murder would be more serious than that of somebody who isn't autistic. I have a hard time buying into the Politically Correct line that while all animals are equal, some are more equal than others. I say prosecute the alleged killer the same way anybody else would be prosecuted.



neilson_wheels
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18 Jun 2013, 5:24 pm

This is very sad.

Is the potential punishment more severe as a hate crime rather than murder?



redrobin62
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RatherUnique
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18 Jun 2013, 6:55 pm

neilson_wheels wrote:
This is very sad.

Is the potential punishment more severe as a hate crime rather than murder?


Murder is usually a state crime, but if its declared a hate crime it becomes a federal crime.

That means FBI investigation, a prosecution with unlimited money, resources and experts and it will be tried in federal court. The feds rarely offer a plea deal, generally don't respond to public pressure and win 93% of its cases.



appletheclown
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18 Jun 2013, 7:44 pm

They killed a 14 year old boy with poison and a knife, they should be punished with a death sentence in the same way he was killed. If not a death sentence then they both need to go to prison for a long time. What makes these people special that they should get a lighter sentence?


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18 Jun 2013, 7:52 pm

the murder wasnt a hate crime,alex was in hospital to have an illness treated and the women ended up having him refused care due to their insistance on biomed quackery.
his mum was a serious chelation nut and she did not like alex being treated with regular medication.
before alex was murdered,he was visited by none other than andrew wakefield;the struck off cesspit who condemned many a future child to become seriously ill with measles/mumps/rubella when he released unproven information that the MMR caused autism.
andrew,had decided to cash in on alex for his groups appeal,his mum being a fan of his group,obviously had no morals against it.

had been following this since it happened,as am on several disabled groups on facebook,and was absolutely shocked to the core to find multiple parents on one group [which actualy is decent and respectful,they warned the people who did this] say they can understand why the women killed him because he has severe autism and its hard looking after someone with severe autism.
how dare these people justify murder of us! plenty of our parents cant cope and struggle, but they dont try and fcuking stab us!
had not said one word in reply because woud have got banned if did so.
it is so shocking that in todays society we are still not believed to have even one shred of humanity and lack any basic respect off fellow people.

alex was horificaly murdered,and so was his cat!
those women can go rot in hell.they lost all sympathy when they decided to take alexes and the cats lives,it was completely pre meditated to,they planned it for a week!


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Jono
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18 Jun 2013, 8:34 pm

KingdomOfRats wrote:
the murder wasnt a hate crime,alex was in hospital to have an illness treated and the women ended up having him refused care due to their insistance on biomed quackery.
his mum was a serious chelation nut and she did not like alex being treated with regular medication.
before alex was murdered,he was visited by none other than andrew wakefield;the struck off cesspit who condemned many a future child to become seriously ill with measles/mumps/rubella when he released unproven information that the MMR caused autism.
andrew,had decided to cash in on alex for his groups appeal,his mum being a fan of his group,obviously had no morals against it.

had been following this since it happened,as am on several disabled groups on facebook,and was absolutely shocked to the core to find multiple parents on one group [which actualy is decent and respectful,they warned the people who did this] say they can understand why the women killed him because he has severe autism and its hard looking after someone with severe autism.
how dare these people justify murder of us! plenty of our parents cant cope and struggle, but they dont try and fcuking stab us!
had not said one word in reply because woud have got banned if did so.
it is so shocking that in todays society we are still not believed to have even one shred of humanity and lack any basic respect off fellow people.

alex was horificaly murdered,and so was his cat!
those women can go rot in hell.they lost all sympathy when they decided to take alexes and the cats lives,it was completely pre meditated to,they planned it for a week!


I absolutely agree. I've only just gotten this e-mail from ASAN but I've seen several news stories that try to excuse Alex's murder on the basis of saying that it was out of "desperation". The fact is, these women were actually offered help to care for him but they refused it. So, the fact that they killed him afterwards is inexcusable.

By the way, welcome back KingdomOfRats. I haven't seen you post here in years.



neilson_wheels
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19 Jun 2013, 4:16 am

I feel the same. This is tragic.

Andrew Wakefield has a lot to answer for too.



Verdandi
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19 Jun 2013, 3:54 pm

Thelibrarian wrote:
Being autistiic myself, I have to wonder why my murder would be more serious than that of somebody who isn't autistic. I have a hard time buying into the Politically Correct line that while all animals are equal, some are more equal than others. I say prosecute the alleged killer the same way anybody else would be prosecuted.


Hate crime enhancement exists due to the fact that certain types of crimes committed against members of marginalized minorities are often not prosecuted as vigorously as those same crimes committed against members of the majority. In another thread on this forum, I linked multiple child murders (both of children with and without disabilities) which showed a pattern that caregivers who murdered disabled children routinely received smaller bails and milder sentences than those who murdered children who were not disabled.

So, hate crime enhancement is intended to address that inequality. It is not political correctness, it is recognition of a real pattern of unequal prosecution for similar crimes. Murdering an autistic child is only more serious in the sense that it is never treated as being as serious as the murder of an abled child. The hate crime enhancement would hopefully result in treating the autistic child's murder as being as serious as the abled child's murder.

I am glad that this thread hasn't yet been overrun by apologists making excuses for the mother and grandmother, not yet at least.



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19 Jun 2013, 4:03 pm

"Hate crime enhancement exists due to the fact that certain types of crimes committed against members of marginalized minorities are often not prosecuted as vigorously as those same crimes committed against members of the majority."

I'd like to see some evidence that crimes against "marginalized minorities" are prosecuted less vigorously than crimes against the majority--at least under similar circumstances. Do you think justice would be served by prosecuting crimes against "marginalized minorities" more vigorously than those committed against the majority?

Are all animals equal, but with some animals being more equal than others? Or should we all be treated the same?



neilson_wheels
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19 Jun 2013, 4:06 pm

Are all animals equal, but some less equal than others? Or should we all be treated the same?



Verdandi
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19 Jun 2013, 4:10 pm

Thelibrarian wrote:
I'd like to see some evidence that crimes against "marginalized minorities" are prosecuted less vigorously than crimes against the majority--at least under similar circumstances. Do you think justice would be served by prosecuting crimes against "marginalized minorities" more vigorously than those committed against the majority?


You see, the problem is that those crimes are not prosecuted as vigorously as those committed against the majority. Hate crime legislation equalizes the situation.

And here, just read the FBI's hate crime material: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate ... ate_crimes

Just be careful of this cognitive bias: http://youarenotsosmart.com/2011/06/10/ ... re-effect/

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The Misconception: When your beliefs are challenged with facts, you alter your opinions and incorporate the new information into your thinking.

The Truth: When your deepest convictions are challenged by contradictory evidence, your beliefs get stronger.



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19 Jun 2013, 4:14 pm

Thelibrarian wrote:
Are all animals equal, but with some animals being more equal than others? Or should we all be treated the same?


The fact is that everyone is not treated the same.

Also, why don't you go look up other examples of disabled children being murdered and see the responses to those murders (calls for sympathy, painting the murderers as victims, mild criminal charges) as compared to responses to the deaths of abled children. There is a significant chance that the perpetrators in this case will not receive harsh sentences due to their actions, and that the defense will play up sympathy for their plight from having to deal with raising an autistic child and how much of a burden that child supposedly was.



Thelibrarian
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19 Jun 2013, 4:28 pm

"The fact is that everyone is not treated the same."

Do you think this is a good thing? Do you want to memorialize unequal treatment with so-called hate crimes laws?

"Also, why don't you go look up other examples of disabled children being murdered and see the responses to those murders (calls for sympathy, painting the murderers as victims, mild criminal charges) as compared to responses to the deaths of abled children. There is a significant chance that the perpetrators in this case will not receive harsh sentences due to their actions, and that the defense will play up sympathy for their plight from having to deal with raising an autistic child and how much of a burden that child supposedly was."

I'm sure I could find all kinds of anecdotes to prove any point you or I care to make. The problem is that anecdote is not the singular of data. Again, I would like to see some hard statistics on this.

BTW, in Texas a case I'm familiar with proves the opposite. We just had a case of a fellow who robbed a mentally disabled victim and received twenty-five years in prison, with the judge lecturing the perp on how disgraceful it is to pick on those who can't fight back. But that doesn't prove anything either.

In any case, equality is hardly served by mandating inequality, which is what hate crime laws do.