In March 2002, Gary McKinnon, a 46-year old man with a diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome, was arrested for hacking into the US military computer systems. He was looking for classified documents on UFOs. In 2005 the US began proceedings to extradite him. For many years now McKinnon has been living with the threat of extradition. McKinnon has maintained throughout the various court cases that he never acted with malicious intent. In a recent and for some, controversial decision, the Home Secretary, Theresa May blocked the extradition, saying that there was no doubt McKinnon was “seriously ill” and that his extradition “would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon’s human rights.”
In a recent Autism Matters podcast, Richard Mills, Director of Research at the National Autistic Society talks about crime and the criminal justice system and why some people with autism get into trouble. He calls for better understanding of people with autism spectrum disorders amongst professionals within the judicial system.
If you want to know more, the podcast is available here.