AUTISM LETTER NOT CONSIDERED A HATE CRIME? But charges may be made against the author ???

max begley

As we posted Wednesday about the despicable letter that had circulated everywhere, and asked your opinions in the link below — we would like to follow-up, with the new developments we have uncovered — and become aware of since.

http://coffeeorvodkaparenting911aparentsguide.wordpress.com/2013/08/20/autism-awareness-and-the-viral-letter-of-an-abusive-nature/

The anonymous, yet nonetheless reproachfully loathsome and detestably cowardice letter was received Friday by Brenda Millson, in Ontario Canada. Since then it has incited quite an outbreak — of both outrage and concern. At first it was the family and neighborhood that was infuriated and probing for answers. Then via media and social networking the vile and poison spewed paragraphs went viral. Reaching everywhere. Throughout Canada, the US, even around the globe.

The letter was in regards to a thirteen year old autistic boy, Max Begley from Oshawa Canada — about 50 miles from Toronto.

Arrogant and irate statements that describe Max as a “nuisance” and a “retard” are just some of the despairing and abusive names the author called this boy. The Author goes on to state things like ” That noise he makes when outside is DREADFUL!” then goes on to say “It’s (sic) scares the hell out of my normal children!!!!”  It talks of “donating his normal parts to science”– even encouraging the family to move their “wild animal kid” to a trailer in the woods and “do the right thing and euthanize him” — and — “Either way we’re all better off.”

Max Begley, diagnosed with autism at age two. Defined by Merriam Webster’s dictionary —

Au-tism : a variable developmental disorder that appears by age three and is characterized by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by stereotyped behavior patterns.

MEDICAL DEFINITION: A developmental disorder that appears by age three and that is variable in expression but is recognized and diagnosed by impairment of the ability to form normal social relationships, by impairment of the ability to communicate with others, and by stereotyped behavior patterns especially as exhibited by a preoccupation with repetitive activities of restricted focus rather than with flexible and imaginative ones.

Max’s grandmother Brenda Millson, who received the letter told reporters ” I was shaking reading it, it’s awful words. It’s terrible you don’t know why anyone would ever do such a thing.”

Max’s mother and father both suffer from MS ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ms# ) also had a few things to say to the media — in hopes that it may also help draw out the culprit, if nothing else — let their voice and how it has affected them, BE HEARD.

Max’s mom who suffers from Secondary progressive MS was more than choked up, as she read excerpts of the letter to the media. Teary eyed and raspy throated she uttered quotes from the letter before explaining — that with her condition she is no longer able to run or even walk to keep pace with Max — his tendency to take off running at parks, and on outings — make it near impossible for her to bring him to these places alone. The father also having MS and working full time, means that Max is entertained and cared for by his grandmother 3 to 4 days a week. The back yard is his safe haven — it’s where he gets to be a kid and play outside, exercise — and learn.

maxes mom

His father James Begley told the media “A person that is that crazy and demented, to — you know fabricate something like that, leads me to believe — that they are very dangerous –and right now I’m scared for my sons safety.”

max and fam

Even with all the cruelty expressed in that letter Canadian authorities are still unsure on how charges can and will be brought up and filed — if they do actually find the audacious author. One would think it would be as simple as an open and shut hate-crime case — but that is actually not so feasible. “At the moment the authorities are contemplating criminal charges — “however: there are other code issues being considered.” Said police.

At present the actual letter is in the custody of Durham Authorities — who will now figure out exactly where this letter falls — under the multi-possible criminal charge categories. Many across Canada, America and beyond are labeling this a HATE-CRIME — and according to former Crown attorney David Butt — it mostly does, yet cannot be considered one.

“There is good reason why charges couldn’t be laid.” as a hate-crime says Butts.

Canada’s hate-crime legislation has three requirements — to which all three must apply to be considered and chargeable as a hate-crime. Although this vulgar letter meets 2 of the 3 requirements being:

  1. It has to be wilful promotion of hatred — “the letter is clearly that.”
  2. It has to be the promotion of hatred against an identifiable group — “the letter is also clearly that” Butts says. “Because Max the boy the letter is about has a disability — autism — which makes him part of identifiable group”

However the third is key, and the letter does not fall under this hate-crime guideline. The third requirement is that It MUST be done in a public forum — Since it went from writer to recipient it dismisses the letter as ineligible for a hate-crime label and/or charge.

As of today Max’s neighbors, community and all those his story has touched have bound together in an outpouring of love and support for the teen and his family — and are hoping to help find out the coward hiding behind the pusillanimous penmanship, and see justice served.  In the meantime Max find’s all this attention a wonderful thing, and is laughing and enjoying the good vibes and positivity surrounding him.

max and neighbors

Written by: Heather Cornell

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Author: hereandsphere

Here and Sphere is an online journal of news, opinion, reviews, advice, & bits n' pieces of everything else - from HERE to SPHERE...... Co-founded by Michael Freedberg, a long-time Boston Phoenix journalist, and Heather Cornell, a South Coast Massachusetts columnist and editor.

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