Criminal Procedure - Is an Insanity Acquittal an Adequate Basis for Indefinite, Involuntary Commitment

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Authors
Mundt, Daniel H. Jr.
Issue Date
1984
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INTRODUCTION|In the recent case of Jones v. United States, the United States Supreme Court held that when a criminal defendant is acquitted of a crime by reason of insanity established by a preponderance of the evidence, the Constitution permits the government, on the basis of the insanity judgment, to indefinitely commit him to a mental institution. This decision allows indefinite commitment of persons acquitted by reason of insanity (insanity acquittees) to mental institutions without "clear and convincing evidence" of mental illness and dangerousness, the standard established for civil commitments by the Supreme Court in Addington v. Texas|Jones represents the first time the United States Supreme Court has considered the meaning of due process in the context of involuntary commitment of insanity acquittees. The outcome is not in keeping with the United States Supreme Court decisions that have increased protection for those facing commitment for mental illness. Furthermore, it is not in keeping with the trend of states to require that insanity acquittees be committed under the same standard as that used in civil commitments...
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17 Creighton L. Rev. 947 (1983-1984)
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Creighton University School of Law
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