Several of you suggested that we call Governor Northam’s office and make a group plea for him to pardon Drew. This would be a determined and collective message to the person with the power to send Drew home.
Many indicated they haven’t called because they don’t live in Virginia. You don’t have to live in Virginia for your opinion to have influence.
Some have said they don’t know what to say. Speak from the heart and give your opinion. If you have a loved one on the autism spectrum mention how inhumane incarceration would be for them, particularly when other options are available. If you’re a mental health professional state the damage that occurs when someone on the spectrum is bombarded with daily overstimulation and fear. If you understand autism mention how traits of this developmental disability can interfere with an individual’s ability to advocate for themselves in court and prison. If you have read the transcripts or excerpts from the transcripts give your reactions. If this conviction makes no sense to you then state your reasonable doubt. If you’re a humanitarian who believes Drew should at very least be released on home incarceration (since the judge made it clear that he is no threat to others) then make this point. If you believe Drew deserves a new trial where autism is properly considered then that could be your message.
Let’s all call the Governor’s Office today at 804-786-2211. Someone might answer or you might be asked to leave a voicemail. If you get a busy signal please call back soon.
Governor Northam is also a pediatric neurologist with an understanding of the nuances of autism. We believe he will right this wrong.
Your voices are powerful and change happens with a strong, collective message of support.
Judy and John Harrison