Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Vigil Followup

Here are two items to follow up on Saturdays Day Of Mourning vigils for people with disabilities murdered by parents or caregivers:

Remembering People with Disabilities Murdered by Caregivers - The List

Heather Yaden, Applied Sentience - March 4, 2014

The first is a complete list of the individuals remembered at the vigils. As the web page notes, it can be disturbing reading, so be forewarned.

The second item is a wonderfully written article that explains some of the key concepts behind the vigils. They aren’t just about the murders, they are about how the murders are talked about and understood by the public.

The only thing I would suggest changing, maybe for next year’s vigils, is to add the legal outcome of each specific case. One of the main points of this is that people not only speak sympathetically about the killers, this tacit approval of murder is often reflected in light sentences and even acquittals. I would like to know exactly how common this is. I’m not a fan of passing laws that tie the hands of judges and prosecutors, but it would be worth considering some kind of legal remedy to this problem. Maybe limiting the admissibility of evidence about victims’ disabilities might help, or requiring that background evidence or testimony be given regarding alternative life and care possibilities for people with particular disabilities.

Learning about this observance has been a revelation to me. I had heard about the issue before, but never saw it addressed in such an organized, compelling way. My admiration for the Autistic Self Advocacy Network just keeps growing.