Developments in Mental Health Law

Articles from Vol. 31, No. 2, February

California Supreme Court Rules Court Has Discretion Whether to Permit Competent Defendant to Represent Self
Following the United States Supreme Court decision in Indiana v. Edwards, 554 U.S. 64 (2008), the California Supreme Court has ruled that trial courts may deny the right to represent themselves to defendants who fall into a "gray area" between those...
Fourth Circuit Finds Federal Commitment of Sexually Dangerous Persons Does Not Violate Equal Protection
Reversing the decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a decision written by Judge G. Steven Agee, held on January 9th that the federal scheme found in 18 U.S.C....
Maine Finds Right to Competency in Post-Conviction Proceedings
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court ruled on November 17, 2011 that a convicted defendant has the statutory right to be competent during post-conviction proceedings. Haraden v. State, 32 A.3d 448 (Maine 2011). Although a defendant has no constitutional...
Three Virginia Jurisdictions Establish Specialized Mental Health Dockets
The prevalence of individuals with serious mental illness throughout the country housed in jails is estimated to be 16.9% of the total jail population. (1) In Virginia, the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services ("DBHDS") surveyed...
Virginia Settles DOJ CRIPA/ADA Investigation: To Close 4 of 5 Training Centers
After almost one year of intense negotiations, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") resolved the DOJ investigation of Central Virginia Training Center ("CVTC") under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized...