Sunday, May 23, 2010

Why I don't think Gary McKinnon should escape punishment

Gary McKinnon is the man diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome who hacked into U.S. military and government networks. It seems many people think his Asperger's should let him avoid punishment. My opinion matches closely with what convicted hacker Adrian Lamo (who also has Asperger's) thinks:
"Lamo thinks while Asperger’s might explain his knack for slipping into corporate networks, Wired says that he scoffs at the notion that Asperger’s should mitigate the consequences of illegal behaviour.

He said that Asperger’s might help explain his success in hacking, but not his willingness to do it, he told Wired.

“If, in fact, the diagnosis is accurate, it had zip to do with my actions at that time,” he said."
(from TechEye )

I have a hard time believing Gary doesn't know what he did was wrong (and illegal). Letting him get away with hacking means he will probably do it again or disregard other laws. People with Asperger's are not stupid and are just as capable of being bad or criminals as neurotypicals. There's also wonderful people too on the Autism spectrum; but we have to accept some are not. It's not an isolated trend for Asperger's to be used as a defense in everything from murder to theft. The legal system and government needs to send a clear message that Asperger's is not a pass to ignore laws and commit crimes.


Skyler said...

There can be lot of children suffering from Aspergers in and around the surroundings. All these children are not bad but some will be brilliant in studies. One should understand and come out with a solution to overcome the issue.