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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 63272 Find in a Library
Title: CONSTITUTIONALITY OF MICHIGAN'S GUILTY BUT MENTALLY ILL VERDICT
Journal: JOURNAL OF LAW REFORM  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:(FALL 1978)  Pages:188-199
Author(s): J M GROSTIC
Corporate Author: University of Michigan
Law School
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE EXAMINES THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF AN UNPRECEDENTED MICHIGAN LEGAL PROVISION FOR A VERDICT OF 'GUILTY BUT MENTALLY ILL' (GBMI), INTENDED TO PREVENT RELEASE OF DANGEROUS, MENTALLY ILL PERSONS.
Abstract: THE MICHIGAN CODE OF CRIMINAL PROCEDURES WAS AMENDED IN 1975 TO PROVIDE THAT A CRIMINAL DEFENDANT MAY BE FOUND GBMI. AN ASSESSMENT OF THE IMPACT OF THIS STATUTE ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF LEGALLY INSANE DEFENDANTS CONCLUDES THAT IT MAY BE UNCONSTITUTIONAL. EXAMINATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE STATUTE REVEAL THAT THE GBMI VERDICT IS SUBSTANTIALLY THE SAME AS THAT OF A 'GUILTY VERDICT,' SINCE THE CONSEQUENCES TO THE DEFENDANT MAY BE IDENTICAL. THE JURY, HOWEVER, WOULD PREFER THE NEW VERDICT, DISTINGUISHING THE DEFENDANT FROM AN ORDINARY 'GUILTY' CRIMINAL, WHILE INSURING THAT THE DEFENDANT'S CONDUCT WILL BE CONDEMNED. IN ADDITION, JURIES MIGHT FIND THIS VERDICT PREFERABLE BECAUSE IT WILL ALWAYS RESULT IN TREATMENT COUPLED WITH INCARCERATION OR PROBATION. THUS, BECAUSE OF THIS LIKELY JURY PREFERENCE, THE GBMI COULD IN SOME CASES DEPRIVE LEGALLY INSANE DEFENDANTS OF 'NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF INSANITY' (NGRI) DEFENSE. IF INSANITY AS A DEFENSE TO A CRIMINAL CHARGE IS VIEWED AS A FUNDAMENTAL PART OF AMERICAN CRIMINAL LAW, THEN GBMI VIOLATES THE 14TH AMENDMENT. FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Insanity defense; Jury decisionmaking; Mentally ill offenders; Michigan; Verdicts
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63272

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