How murder victims with disabilities get blamed for their own deaths – world24 monitor

The women tried to poison the boy, who had autism, with sleeping pills. Best lower back tattoo designs When that failed, Dorothy Spourdalakis stabbed her son four times in the chest with a kitchen knife, twice hitting his heart. Best mens tattoos ever She slit one of his wrists so deeply she nearly severed his hand, according to court records. Cool small male tattoos Then she handed the knife to Jolanta Agata Skrodzka, who used it to kill the family cat so it wouldn’t have to live in a shelter after their arrests.


Alex was killed in River Grove in 2013. Awesome tattoo backgrounds Raashanai died in Waukegan in 2014. Best guy tattoos tumblr Both were slain by people entrusted to protect them. Back of neck tribal tattoo designs But the respective outcomes of these first-degree murder cases ? one involving a child with disabilities, the other involving a child without medically documented handicaps ? speak volumes about an insidious bias in the justice system.

Alex’s killers pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, and served three years each before they were sentenced to time served and released. Back of neck tattoos tumblr Raashanai’s killer, meanwhile, was convicted of murder and is serving 43 years.

Advocates for the disabled say such disparities are common in a legal system that seems to treat accused killers less seriously when the victim was a person with special needs who depended on the person charged with murder for care.

The study found that taking a life ? something typically not tolerated in society ? is sometimes treated as acceptable in the justice system when the victim had a disability. Most beautiful tattoo designs Killers are commonly portrayed as angelic caretakers who killed out of mercy, or who could no longer bear the burden and snapped. Cute female chest tattoos Those perpetrators often face less than vigorous prosecution, the study found.

“The message is that murder is a reasonable response to disability, and courts will treat you lightly if you murder a disabled child, parent or spouse,” David Perry, a disability rights activist and author of the Ruderman report, told The Huffington Post.

Vilissa Thompson, an advocate and licensed master social worker from Winnsboro, South Carolina, said there is an obvious discrepancy in how the law and the public treat parents and caregivers accused of killing someone in their care.

“When someone, especially a child, is killed, it is called a hideous crime, and there is an urgency to punish the person responsible,” said Thompson, a contributor to the Ruderman report who was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, also known as brittle bone disease. Nice tattoo ideas for guys “But when it comes to the disabled kids, there is this gross level of excusing that behavior.”

The following month, Lawrence, who pleaded guilty to murder, was sentenced to 43 years in prison by 19th Circuit Court Judge James Booras. Awesome lower back tattoos It was the near-maximum for the charge. Mens sleeve tattoo designs Booras referred to Lawrence as a “monster” and ruled her ineligible for early release. Tattoo ideas for guys shoulder If she outlives her sentence, she will be in her mid-70s when she’s freed.

Dorothy Spourdalakis, left, Jolanta Skrodzka, center, and Nicholette Lawrence.

Alex’s mother said she did not want him in an institution, which she thought would be a form of torture, according to police. Awesome upper back tattoos The women killed the family cat, authorities said, because Spourdalakis didn’t want authorities to take it to a shelter.

“Yes, there can be stresses caring for someone with a disability,” she went on. Awesome mens sleeve tattoos “And yes, we need to hold social services accountable in providing assistance. Back of neck tattoos female But none of that should give someone an excuse to kill.”

Whenever Alex was mentioned in the media, he was characterized by his disability more often than as the victim of a horrific crime. Best mens tattoos 2015 Some reports used words like “aggressive” and “violent” to describe him. Awesome angel wing tattoos Details were printed about how he had to be tied to a bed during hospital visits. Wrist tattoos for guys tumblr It was on social media, rather than in published reports, that people who knew Alex had the chance to share the most details about him. Awesome arm tattoos for guys They described him as a smart young man who loved balloons, cards, music, nature and the color yellow.

“Everything in the media coverage was about his mom, and some of it was factually wrong,” Perry said. Most amazing tattoos ever “No one investigated what she said or called anyone from the disability community for balanced coverage. Awesome tattoos for girls They rushed to say, ‘Well, she must have been really overworked and must not have had any access to services.’”

In the months leading up to Alex’s death, the boy’s mother and godmother participated in a documentary by the Autism Media Channel. Cool small mens tattoos They told the filmmakers Alex was neglected by the health care system and was not provided enough outside support.

In fact, after Alex was killed, a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services told the Chicago Tribune that Alex’s mother had refused “referrals to community-based services ranging from respite to psychological counseling.”

However, according to River Grove police, Spourdalakis and her son lived in the same well-kept River Grove apartment for nearly two decades ? the same apartment where Alex was killed and where Spourdalakis and Skrodzka drugged themselves in an apparent suicide attempt after his death, the Chicago Tribune reported.

After the two women were sentenced, Botti, Spourdalakis’ attorney, told Chicago’s CBS News Channel 2 that the prosecutor had described in court how, through all the years of Alex’s life, “every door was closed.” Botti said the prosecutor spoke about “the abuse [Alex] dealt with when he was taken to the hospital and all the restraints he was put in.”

“It is abhorrent that a person with a disability is murdered by their parents, children or caregivers every week,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the organization. Awesome half sleeve tattoos for guys “This statistic itself is tragic, but what is even more abhorrent is that the journalists covering these murders all too often erase the voice of the person with a disability and occasionally even sympathize with the murderers.”

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