Identify which states are being compared.
Describe the different laws that pertain to the insanity defense.
Differentiate between the terms of competency to stand trial, insanity, and diminished capacity in each state’s statutes.
Describe civil commitment. What is necessary to be civilly committed in each state?
ILLINOIS MISSOURI CALIFORNIA
California Laws Pertaining to the Insanity Defense
Legal defense of insanity (State of California this mean you cannot be found guilty of the crime if legally insane
California insanity defense you are considered legally insane
If you do not acknowledge that it is a crime
If you completely do not understand what you did was evil/wrongful
California Laws Pertaining to the Insanity Defense
Penal Code – 1026
If the defendant pleads not guilty because of insanity they must be tried for their crimes. If they are found guilty, then the question must be answered if they were sane or not.
A defendant who pleads not guilty for the reason of insanity must be tried for their crimes first. If they are found guilty, then the question is if they were sane or not at the time of the crimes. If they are discovered insane, they are committed to the State Department of State Hospitals for care and treatment. Before they are engaged, the hospital’s program director must evaluate the defendant and submit it to the court within 15 days. Every six months after they are saved, they are again assessed, and another report is sent to the courts for the defendant’s progress. (California Legislative Information, 2022)
California’s Civil Commitment
CALIF. WELF. & INST. CODE § 5250 – A person who has been detained and evaluated may be certified for not more than 14 days of intensive treatment related to the mental disorder
CALIF. WELF. & INST. CODE § 5008(h)(1) – A condition in which a person, as a result of a mental disorder, is unable to provide for his or her basic personal needs for food, clothing, or shelter
CALIF. WELF. & INST. CODE § 5346(a) – A court may order a person to obtain assisted outpatient treatment
California’s Civil Commitment has three codes it must follow for proceedings, hospitalization, or inpatient/outpatient commitments.
One of the inpatient commitments is CALIF. WELF. & INST. CODE § 5250. A person cannot be detained for more than 14 days. The conditions for this are if someone who works at the facility has looked at the person’s needs and found that they have a mental disorder, chronic alcoholism, a danger to themselves and others, or are gravely disabled. The facility providing the treatment agrees to admit the person, and the person has been advised but is not willing or able to accept the treatment voluntarily. (Treatment Advocacy Center, 2020)
The other inpatient commitment is CALIF. WELF. & INST. CODE § 5008(h)(1). This is when a person is gravely disabled; they cannot provide for their basic personal needs or if they have been found mentally incompetent to stand trial on criminal charges. Other facts for the mentally incompetent are if any indictment or information against the defendant at the time of committed orders involves death, bodily harm, or a threat to themselves or another person. The accusation has not been dismissed in court. The person is unable to understand the indictment brought forth against them. (Treatment Advocacy Center, 2020)
The outpatient commitment is CALIF. WELF. & INST. CODE § 5346(a), the court may order a person to obtain assisted outpatient treatment only if the following occurs. If the patient is 18 years or older, suffering from a mental illness, unlikely to survive safely in the community without supervision, and lacks allowed compliance with treatment for their mental illness, they fail to engage in treatment even after they were allowed to; their condition is deteriorating, would be the least restrictive placement, prevent relapse, and will benefit from the outpatient treatment. (Treatment Advocacy Center, 2020)
A criminal defendant may plead not guilty by a reason of insanity
Only applies where the criminal defendant is deciding to be legally insane when the crime happened
Pleading not guilty by insanity is admitting to the crime that was committed
Pleading not guilty means you also do not want to be held responsible for the crime which was committed due to the mental capacity
Missouri Laws Pertaining to the Insanity Defense
Missouri Laws 552.030 – A person is not responsible for criminal conduct as the result of a mental illness. They must plea not guilty because of mental disorder or defect excluding responsibility or within ten days after a plea of not guilty.
Missouri Law 552.030 states that a person is not responsible for criminal conduct due to a mental illness or defects. Such a person could not know what they were doing was wrong. Any evidence of a mental illness would not be allowed in court unless they enter a not guilty by reasons of insanity at the initial hearing or within ten days of the original plea, and only if it was not guilty. After the plea is in, an appointment psychologist will examine the individual to determine if the individual does indeed have a mental illness. From the conclusion of the psychologist, they can be committed to a hospital pending a trail. (Law Server, 2022)
Missouri Civil Commitment
MO. ANN. STAT. 632.350(5) – After a hearing, and as a result of mental illness, the court can detain a person for 90 days in an inpatient facility or 180 days in an outpatient facility and under supervision.
MO. ANN. STAT. § 632.005(10) – If they are likely to do serious harm.
In the state of Missouri, there are two codes for Inpatient and Outpatient Commitment.
MO. ANN. STAT. 632.350(5) – If the defendant was found guilty, but under insanity, they find a program that can handle the defendants’ conditions, and they can be detained involuntarily for up to 90 days. Suppose they can find outpatient and under supervision in the least restrictive area for up to 180 days. (Treatment Advocacy Center, 2020)
MO. ANN. STAT. § 632.005(10). – For them to be committed, they must likely do serious harm. They must meet the criteria of one or more of the following: they are at risk of harming themselves by any verbal threats, attempted suicide, or inflicting physical harm if they show any history of serious harm or the inability to take care of their basic needs. There is a possibility that they will harm another person, either by verbal threats or recent acts. (Treatment Advocacy Center, 2020)
ILLINOIS LAWS PERTAINING TO THE INSANITY DEFENSE
Under Illinois law the defendant can be found not guilty by insanity if the following criteria are met:
As the result of mental disease
Lacks capacity to appreciate the criminality of the conduct
The verdict of the insanity defense is ultimately based on the mental capacity of the defendant. The jury, who is responsible for charging the defendant must take into consideration the defendants overall mental state and his/her ability to appreciate the criminality on the conduct.
ILLINOIS LAWS PERTAINING TO THE INSANITY DEFENSE (cont.)
MODEL PENAL CODE TEST
General Principals of Liability
Provisions Governing Treatment and Correction
Provisions Governing the Organizations of Corrections Departments and Divisions
There are four commonly used tests to test insanity. Of the 4, the state of Illinois only uses the Model Penal Code Test to determine if the defendant’s lawyer can argue not guilty by means of insanity. The MPC is composed of 4 parts, general principals of liability, definition of specific offenses, provisions governing treatment and correction, and provisions governing the organizations of corrections departments and divisions. The Illinois Legislature under 720 ILCS 5/2 states that “a person is not criminally responsible for conduct if at the time of such conduct, as a result of mental disease or defect, he lacks the substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of his conduct” (Goldman & Associates). This means that Illinois uses all parts to determine insanity except for the second part. The overall test is determined by if the defendant at the time of the crime was either unable to appreciate the criminality of his conduct or conform his conduct to the requirements of the law” FINDLAW.COM. This requires a diagnosis which could have been diagnosed before the crime, and if not, examined and diagnosed by a court appointed mental health professional.
Comparison of the Insanity Defense: Between:
ILLINOIS MISSOURI CALIFORNIA
California, Illinois, and Missouri pleading to insanity in each state are all almost similar. If you plead insanity this is saying that someone can’t be responsible for an action, they are mentally unable to comprehend. Special attention is what needs to happen to those who plead insanity, so they can receive treatment despite the serious crime that they committed.
ILLINOIS COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL vs INSANITY vs DIMINISHED CAPACITY
COMPETENCY TO STAND TRIAL – The examination of mental state before trial
INSANITY – A verdict determined by a jury after trial
DIMINISHED CAPACITY – The Temporary In ability to make sound decisions
In Illinois, competency to stand trial is an examination of a person’s mental state before trial conducted to see if a defendant is competent enough to be involved in the trial.
People v. Murphy, 72 Ill.2d 421, 381 N.E.2d 677 (1978) states that a defendant is unfit to stand trial when, because of a mental or physical condition, he or she is unable to understand the nature and purpose of the proceedings or assist in the defense. Not guilty by insanity is a plea on behalf of the defendant arguing that the defendant cannot be held responsible for their crimes because they impaired by a mental disorder which is the direct cause of the crime committed. Diminished capacity also infers that a person was not in their right mind when the crime was committed, and the defendant was impaired. However, regardless of the impairment, the defendant overall can determine right from wrong. In addition, if determined the crime was committed by reason of diminished capacity, the impairment of the defendant during the time was only temporary and dimished overtime. For example, if the defendant was drunk or high when the crime was committed. A verdict of insanity results in a not guilty verdict while dimished capacity results in a guilty verdict.
ILLINOIS CIVIL COMMITMENT
Civil Commitment – post-sentence institutional detention of an offender with the intention of preventing further offenses.
Illinois is 1 of only 17 states that has civil commitment laws. Civil commitment occurs when a person is involuntarily mandated to a mental health facility because they pose a risk of committing physical harm to themselves and/or others. A civil commitment can be administered by court order, emergency admission, or by power of attorney.
Illinois General Assembly. (n.d.). Criminal Offences (720 ILCS 5/) Criminal Code of 2012.. https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=1876&Chap terID=53&SeqStart=7800000&SeqEnd=9300000
Goldman & Associates. (n.d.). What is the Insanity Defense in Illinois?. https://www.criminallawyer-chicago.com/blog/what-is-the-insanity-defense- in-illinois/
Treatment Advocacy Center. (2020). State Standards for Civil Commitment. https://www.treatmentadvocacycenter.org/storage/documents/state-standards/state-standards-for-civil-commitment.pdf
Law Server. (2022). Missouri Laws 552.030. https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/missouri/mo-laws/missouri_laws_552-030
California Legislative Information. (2022). PENAL CODE – PEN PART 2. OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURE [681 – 1620] TITLE 6. PLEADINGS AND PROCEEDINGS BEFORE TRIAL [976 – 1054.10]. https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?sectionNum=1026.&lawCode=PEN