This petition will remain open for signatures until Odgren's trail date, thank you for supporting him. Please keep spreading the word of this petition! John Odgren, 16 of Massachusetts, is being tried, as an adult, with the first degree murder of a classmate. Odgren has Asperger's Syndrome which is a milder variant of Autistic Disorder. *Note: This is a PETITION, not a blog for people who think that they should sign to argue AGAINST this petition. You either live with it, or you go home and gripe to yourself in the mirror, keep telling yourself that WE are evil, go ahead. If you want to gripe about the petition to someone, e-mail me, don't sign a petition just so you can argue against it
Odgren has Asperger's Syndrome which is a milder variant of Autistic Disorder. Both Asperger's Disorder and Autistic Disorder are in fact subgroups of a larger diagnostic category. This larger category is called either Autistic Spectrum Disorders, mostly in European countries, or Pervasive Developmental Disorders (&PDD;), in the United States. In Asperger's Disorder, affected individuals are characterized by social isolation and eccentric behavior in childhood. There are impairments in two-sided social interaction and non-verbal communication. Though grammatical, their speech is peculiar due to abnormalities of inflection and a repetitive pattern. Clumsiness is prominent both in their articulation and gross motor behavior. They usually have a circumscribed area of interest which usually leaves no space for more age appropriate, common interests. Under Massachusetts law, the juvenile court does not have any jurisdiction over a person between the ages of 14 and 16. That means that a child between these ages must be tried and sentenced as an adult. I agree that this is outrageous. The only person who had any discretion to have John Odgren treated as a juvenile is the Middlesex County District Attorney, Gerard T. Leone. If he indicted John for manslaughter rather than murder, John would be tried in juvenile court rather than as an adult. By signing this petition you could help this young boy. With this petition I hope to help him get tried with a lesser degree of Manslaughter as a juvenile.
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