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  1. #1

    Default How Likely is a Judge to Acknowledge Supreme Court Rulings

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Virginia

    I am currently in a mental hospital after being found not guilty by reason of insanity on a felony charge. I am coming up on my one year evaluation hearing. Normally you stay in the hospital until you complete the graduated release process. I am currently one level away from being able to request a conditional release.

    My yearly evaluation spoke highly of me but as stated I haven't completed my trail visits into the community. However my lawyer (got lucky and was appointed the best lawyer in town as a public defender) doesn't believe I should be held any longer and has written a petition requesting my release.

    In the petition he cited both Jones vs United States and O'Connor vs Donaldson which both ruled its illegal to confine a mentally ill person who is not a danger to himself or anyone else.

    I'm being told by staff here its a long shot and will depend largely on what mood the judge is in that day but Im curious as to if anyone has heard of such a thing working.

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    8,238

    Default Re: How Likely is a Judge to Acknowledge Supreme Court Rulings

    Quote Quoting Hemispheres
    View Post
    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Virginia

    I am currently in a mental hospital after being found not guilty by reason of insanity on a felony charge. I am coming up on my one year evaluation hearing. Normally you stay in the hospital until you complete the graduated release process. I am currently one level away from being able to request a conditional release.

    My yearly evaluation spoke highly of me but as stated I haven't completed my trail visits into the community. However my lawyer (got lucky and was appointed the best lawyer in town as a public defender) doesn't believe I should be held any longer and has written a petition requesting my release.

    In the petition he cited both Jones vs United States and O'Connor vs Donaldson which both ruled its illegal to confine a mentally ill person who is not a danger to himself or anyone else.

    I'm being told by staff here its a long shot and will depend largely on what mood the judge is in that day but Im curious as to if anyone has heard of such a thing working.

    Thanks for your time.
    The judge will take into account the argument made by your attorney, and of course the cases he cited in support of that argument. The judge will also take into account the prosecutor's opposition (if one was filed) and the cases cited. How that will play out will depend very much on the details of your current situation, e.g. the evaluation of your current mental state, how release now would impact that state, etc. If the event underlying the felony charge was one of violence you can expect that most judges will be conservative in deciding your release because the last thing the judge wants is to release someone with a violent history only to have that person commit another violent act. You'll have the opportunity to appeal the decision if the judge rules against you and your lawyer thinks the judge applied the law incorrectly. As the lawyer has submitted the petition, all you can do now is wait and see what the judge decides. Some committed persons do win release on these petitions. Whether you'll be one of them, though, is impossible for me to predict given that I know pretty much nothing about your case.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How Likely is a Judge to Acknowledge Supreme Court Rulings

    The O'Connor case dealt with an individual who had been civilly committed -- that is, committed to a mental institution not as the result of a finding of 'not guilty by reason of insanity.' The case would thus seem to have at most only general relevance to your situation, since you are a person committed as a consequence of a 'not guilty by reason of insanity' ruling in a criminal case.

    caselaw DOT findlaw DOT com/us-supreme-court/422/563.html

    By contrast, the Jones case did deal with an individual who had been committed to a mental institution as a consequence of a 'not guilty by reason of insanity' ruling in a criminal case. The main issue there, though, was whether an individual who had been so committed could be required to stay in the mental institution longer than he would have had to spend in prison had he been found guilty of the crime. And the Supreme Court held that the state was not required to release the individual solely on the basis that he had been hospitalized for a period longer than he might have served in prison had he been convicted. Rather the state was entitled to keep the individual in the mental institution until the individual had satisfactorily shown that he was no longer mentally ill or dangerous, which was the standard under the relevant state law (in the Jones case, DC law). That seems a little different from the argument you describe in your post. Of course the facts and particulars of your situation, the evaluation of your mental status, and some of the other factors that Taxing Matters describes in his/her post will also be relevant considerations.

    supreme DOT justia DOT com/cases/federal/us/463/354/

    Bottom line: talk to your lawyer, who is in the best position to advise you on your chances of success. Only your lawyer will have access to all the relevant information and, likely, some insight into the judge who is hearing the case.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How Likely is a Judge to Acknowledge Supreme Court Rulings

    It wasn't a violent crime and I fully cooperated with police when they showed up so here's hoping all works out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    18,340

    Default Re: How Likely is a Judge to Acknowledge Supreme Court Rulings

    How did you get from probation to a mental institution?

    https://www.expertlaw.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=239512

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    120

    Default Re: How Likely is a Judge to Acknowledge Supreme Court Rulings

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    How did you get from probation to a mental institution?

    https://www.expertlaw.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=239512
    Ambulance.

    Badabum

    :P

  7. #7

    Default Re: How Likely is a Judge to Acknowledge Supreme Court Rulings

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    How did you get from probation to a mental institution?

    https://www.expertlaw.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=239512
    A good lawyer and a sympathetic prosecutor. They didn't even violate my probation, they released me from it.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: How Likely is a Judge to Acknowledge Supreme Court Rulings

    Quote Quoting Hemispheres
    View Post
    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Virginia

    I am currently in a mental hospital after being found not guilty by reason of insanity on a felony charge. I am coming up on my one year evaluation hearing. Normally you stay in the hospital until you complete the graduated release process. I am currently one level away from being able to request a conditional release.

    My yearly evaluation spoke highly of me but as stated I haven't completed my trail visits into the community. However my lawyer (got lucky and was appointed the best lawyer in town as a public defender) doesn't believe I should be held any longer and has written a petition requesting my release.

    In the petition he cited both Jones vs United States and O'Connor vs Donaldson which both ruled its illegal to confine a mentally ill person who is not a danger to himself or anyone else.

    I'm being told by staff here its a long shot and will depend largely on what mood the judge is in that day but Im curious as to if anyone has heard of such a thing working.

    Thanks for your time.
    What you seem to be unconscious of is that the so-called mood of the judge has everything to do with the present state of your sanity and whether or not you continue to be a danger to yourself or society, AND NOTHING WHATSOEVER TO DO with this imagined capriciousness nature of a judge to accept or reject established law. In other words it is a factual issue, not one of law!

    And so far we are left to speculate as to what, if any, evidence you have presented to the court favorable and in support of your petition to be released from confinement.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How Likely is a Judge to Acknowledge Supreme Court Rulings

    Well it didn't go as planned. The judge and prosecution spoke well of me but they both wanted me to stay and finish out the program. 4-6 more months tops.

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