Autism and Mercy in Capital Crimes
- · People with autism are more likely to be victims than perpetrators of aggressive violence.
- · In many cases spree killers kill themselves, or are killed by police, and no official mental health diagnoses emerge. Suggestions of autism or anything else are therefore speculation which is rightly criticized as inflammatory;
- · Even when a credible diagnosis exists there is considerable dispute about any role autism may have played in shaping the defendant toward the crime.
John Elder Robison is an autistic adult and advocate for people with neurological differences. He's the author of Look Me in the Eye, Be Different, Raising Cubby, and Switched On. He serves on the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee of the US Dept of Health and Human Services. He's co-founder of the TCS Auto Program (A school for teens with developmental challenges) and he’s the Neurodiversity Scholar at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. He's also a visiting professor of practice at Bay Path University in Longmeadow, Massachusetts and advisor to the Neurodiversity Institute at Landmark College in Putney, Vermont.