Autism Defense fails to help insurrectionist

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ASPartOfMe
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21 Dec 2021, 9:08 am

Man who joined Capitol melee gets nearly 4 years in prison

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A man who joined a mob in one of the most violent attacks on police during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol was sentenced on Monday to nearly four years in prison.

Devlyn Thompson, 28, wrote an apology letter to the officer whom he assaulted during a melee in a tunnel where police battled with dozens of rioters for more than two hours. He also expressed remorse for his actions in a letter to U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, who sentenced him to three years and 10 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

“The attack on the Capitol that day was an attack on the very rule of law in our country,” Lamberth said.

Justice Department prosecutors recommended a four-year prison sentence for Thompson, a longtime resident of Washington state who moved to Georgia approximately six months before the riot.

Defense attorney Elizabeth Kelley requested a one-year prison sentence for Thompson. He has autism spectrum disorder and “functions in many ways as a young child,” Kelley wrote in a court filing. She said Thompson’s condition influenced his behavior on Jan. 6 and distorted his understanding of what happened that day.

“Autism is not and should not be an excuse for bad behavior, but rather, it should be considered when a person’s individual culpability and degree of social understanding is called into question,” she wrote.

The judge also said autism isn’t an excuse for assaulting a police officer. He noted that Thompson had a job that paid him $90,000 a year before the riot.


Thompson has been jailed since he pleaded guilty in August to assaulting a police officer with a dangerous weapon, a metal baton. The charge carries a maximum of 20 years imprisonment, but sentencing guidelines for Thompson’s case recommended a prison sentence ranging from 46 to 57 months.

Prosecutors say one of the most violent confrontations on Jan. 6 was in the tunnel, where a mob and police fought for control of a Capitol entrance in an area known as the Lower West Terrace. Surveillance video captured Thompson with more than 190 other rioters in the tunnel. He struck a police officer’s hand with a baton that he found in the tunnel. Others assaulted police with poles, sticks and other makeshift weapons.

Before he assaulted the officer, Thompson helped the mob take riot shields from officers and brought them forward for other rioters to use against police, according to prosecutors. He also joined the mob in pushing together against the front line of officers and threw a large audio speaker that struck another rioter in the head, drawing blood, prosecutors said.

Thompson, who worked for a rental property management company, drove to Washington, D.C., from Atlanta. He didn’t enter the Capitol before he le

Bolding=mine


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League_Girl
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21 Dec 2021, 11:02 am

So sick of autism being used as a defense. He had a high pay job, many people were stupid that day. If you are so stupid, you should do your time. Mind of a young child my ass.


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Fnord
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21 Dec 2021, 11:12 am

The defense seems to have been trying to convince the court that autism makes a person mentally incompetent.



funeralxempire
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21 Dec 2021, 12:50 pm

I see no problem with considering if a criminal would be better served by being redirected towards care rather than prison. Since ultimately they will be returned to society the primary goal should be on ensuring they're able to be returned to society.


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League_Girl
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21 Dec 2021, 2:08 pm

Fnord wrote:
The defense seems to have been trying to convince the court that autism makes a person mentally incompetent.



If someone is so incompetent and are so stupid they fall for conspiracy theories that it makes them commit a crime, then maybe they shouldn't be out in public since they pose a danger. This is what they are doing when they don't hold someone accountable for their actions because of autism. We lock up people with intellectual impairments or mental illnesses when they commit violent crimes. They have posed a danger so they are given harsh sentences as a result or even capital punishment and I do think there is ableism in the criminal system because I have noticed that you are more likely to get capital punishment if you are mentally ill or have a low IQ. I am all for a life sentence.


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AnonymousAnonymous
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21 Dec 2021, 11:04 pm

League_Girl wrote:
So sick of autism being used as a defense. He had a high pay job, many people were stupid that day. If you are so stupid, you should do your time.


My thoughts exactly.

This guy should not be granted "special treatment" of any sort.


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