At the end of the 1982 term, in Jones v. United States, the United States Supreme Court upheld a District of Columbia statute requiring the automatic and indefinite commitment of persons acquitted by reason of insanity. While under the D.C. statute the acquittee is periodically given the opportunity to gain release, the practice of involuntarily confining someone who has been acquitted raises serious due process and equal protection issues. This note examines the Court's analysis of these issues, focusing on a comparison of the elements necessary for an insanity defense with the showing required by the due process clause for involuntary civil commitment.
Paul S. Avilla
Mistreating a Symptom: The Legitimizing of Mandatory, Indefinite Commitment of Insanity Acquittees - Jones v. United States,
11 Pepp. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/plr/vol11/iss3/5