Careys call for expansion of Jonathan's Law

Mall pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide in Carey's death and was sentenced to six months in prison and five years of probation in a plea agreement that required him to testify against his former co-worker, Tirado.

Tirado was later convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to the maximum of 5-to-15 years in state prison.

"Today is a memorial to Jonathan," Michael Carey said at Friday's press conference, before telling a room full of reporters that reform was needed to raise the rights of abused institutional residents "above the standards of animals."

"There's less protection for the disabled than animals, currently. We're talking reform that will make lives better and safer," Michael Carey said. "This is not only for our son, who is in heaven, but for all the children."

During the press conference, the Carey's were flanked by parents of abused, institutionalized children, former caregiver employees and supervisors, Assembly Minority Leader James Tedisco, R,C,I-Schenectady, and Assemblyman Tim Gordon, D, I-Bethlehem.

Drawing upon the personal experience of having a brother with Down Syndrome who died of leukemia, Tedisco spoke on behalf of the Careys saying that Jonathan's Law needs to be strengthened to better protect the disabled.

"There has to be a full and complete care system for this Jonathan's Law is not enough," Tedisco said. "Jonathan is in heaven, but there are other children here on earth."

Although they are from opposite sides of the aisle, Assemblyman Gordon echoed Tedisco's sentiment.

"The standard of abuse for a person in residential care should be the same for a person not in residential care. There shouldn't be two standards of abuse," Gordon said. The first term assemblyman added that the use of food as a reward and a punishment should be considered a form of torture.

"It's a horrible thought," Gordon said. "It harkens to something you'd see in Guantanamo Bay."

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