I have watched every Ally McBeal, Suits, Harry’s Law, For Life and Better Call Saul episode but happily admit to no real world knowledge of the law. However, I have often questioned the way the legal system works in one particular area. If people can lie but some people prefer honesty how is that taken into account when it comes to court. How can you objectively consider evidence if you may be judging someone by the way others think.
Juries are selected from the population, a cross section of people. That may include neurodivergent people but the likelihood is a neurotypical viewpoint would be more prevalent. I believe that this could be resolved by specifically having neurotypical people working within the legal system (even just for oversight).
How can we say the legal system is just, if a neurodivergent viewpoint isn’t expressly considered or potentially not even truly understood. It would allow for a much fairer and just system, and may reduce wrongful imprisonments. At the very least it will give the judge different viewpoints to consider. Potentially very different views of the same event. Isn’t that the judge’s job, to consider all the information and perspectives, make a fair decision from a learned and considered person.
Understanding actions requires understanding the mind, and also mindset of the accused or defendant.
At the very least this should be done in cases with known neurodivergent people. Having an expert for court is all well and good but personally I think it really needs someone involved during every step. I also think peer led mental health support should be offered, because if the accusation is wrong, the person proved innocent. They will still bear the mental scars from it if not helped to heal. Neurodivergence when it comes to the legal system, cannot be an afterthought.
All my best and love
Words – Ross A Fraser
Graphic Design App – Canva