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How a better understanding of autism could change the justice system for autistic people

April 30, 2022 | 3:57 PM GMT
On January 4, 2019, Matthew Rushin, a 20-year-old Black autistic man from Virginia Beach, caused a car crash that left one man severely injured. Rushin was sentenced to serve 10 years of a 50-year sentence. Former Virginia Governor Ralph Northam granted Rushin a conditional pardon, and he was released from prison more than two years after the night of the crash. This short documentary looks at what it is like to navigate the criminal justice system as an autistic person. Psychologist Erin Findley, who is autistic herself, helps explain how misperceptions about autism and a bias towards neurotypical behavior can create a flawed, and sometimes dangerous, justice system for autistic people.