COMMENT: Unfair Punishment of the Mentally Disabled? The Constitutionality of Treating Extremely Dangerous and Mentally Ill Insanity Acquittees in Prison Facilities Skip over navigation
LexisNexis® Browse Law Reviews and Treatises
Skip over navigation
Sign in with your lexis.com® ID to access the full text of this article.
-OR-
Order the full text of this article if you do not have a lexis.com® ID.
 
Price: 
US $22.00 (+ tax)
 
 

Copyright (c) 2001 University of Hawai'i Law Review
University of Hawai'i Law Review

COMMENT: Unfair Punishment of the Mentally Disabled? The Constitutionality of Treating Extremely Dangerous and Mentally Ill Insanity Acquittees in Prison Facilities

Summer, 2001

23 Hawaii L. Rev. 623

Author

Chris Kempner 167

Excerpt

I. INTRODUCTION

The doctrines of actus reus, mens rea, insanity, mistake, justification, and duress have historically provided the tools for a constantly shifting adjustment of the tension between the evolving aims of the criminal law and changing religious, moral, philosophical, and medical views of the nature of man. This process of adjustment has always been thought to be the province of the States.

Justice Marshall, Powell v. Texas 1

We recognize, of course, that psychiatric professionals are not in complete harmony . . . disagreements, however, do not tie the State's hands in setting the bounds of its civil commitment laws. In fact, it is precisely where such disagreement exists that legislatures have been afforded the widest latitude in drafting such statutes. As we have explained regarding congressional enactments, when a legislature "undertakes to act in areas fraught with medical and scientific uncertainties, legislative options must be especially broad and courts should be cautious not to rewrite legislation."

Justice Thomas, Kansas v. Hendricks 2

Each state has full discretion as to whether the insanity defense is offered, 3 its legal definition 4 and its legal effect. 5 If a state chooses to offer the defense and the defendant is awarded acquittal by reason of insanity status, the state then has a legitimate option to confine the acquittee "for the purposes of treatment and the protection of society." 6 Confinement remains a legitimate option for as long as the acquittee continues to be both dangerous 7 and mentally ill ...
 
 
If you are interested in obtaining a lexis.com® ID and Password, please contact us at 1-(800)-227-4908 or visit us at http://www.lexisnexis.com/.
Search Documents
 
eg., Environmental Insurance Coverage Under the Comprehensive General Liability Policy
 
 
 
 

Lexis® Web - The only search engine that delivers free web content specifically from legal sites validated by LexisNexis® attorney editors and includes tools for faster research and more relevant results.

 
LexisNexis Store
Research Now - Go to lexis.com
Connect the Dots - Free 1 hour webcast
Share. Network. Discover. - Go to LexisNexis Communities