WXXI AM News

Connections: How the media covers the murders of people with disabilities by caregivers

Nov 17, 2017

We discuss a difficult, often grim, but vital issue this hour: when people with disabilities are murdered by their caregivers or family members. According to the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, more than 400 people with a disability were murdered by a family member or caregiver in the last five years. In court, perpetrators often receive lighter sentences, and when these crimes are covered in the media, they are frequently described as "mercy killings."

Disability rights advocates are calling for change. They say when the justice system and the media handle murders of this nature in these ways, they dehumanize victims. We discuss the impact on the disability community with our guests: