Andre mccollins was eighteen years old in 2002 when he was a student at the Judge Rotenberg Center in Canton, Massachusetts. Like many of the students at the center, a residential institution for people with disabilities, Andre is autistic and has other mental disabilities. One day in October 2002, a staff member told McCollins to take off his jacket. He said no. That was direct defiance and disobedience to directions from staff. The Judge Rotenberg Center staff then pressed a button on a remote control connected to a powerful electric shock device that McCollins, like dozens of the center’s students, was required to wear. McCollins screamed and dove under the nearest table in a futile effort to hide from staff members who were already clambering around chairs to grab his arms and legs. They hauled him from under the table, physically pinning him as...

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