GPO-CONAN-2017-10-15.pdf

1327 still to be consid ered by the court are such

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1327 Still to be consid- ered by the Court are such questions as the substantive and proce- dural guarantees to be applied in proceedings when the matter at issue is non-criminal delinquent behavior. The Problem of Civil Commitment. —As with juvenile offend- ers, several other classes of persons are subject to confinement by court processes deemed civil rather than criminal. Within this cat- egory of “protective commitment” are involuntary commitments for treatment of insanity and other degrees of mental disability, alco- holism, narcotics addiction, sexual psychopathy, and the like. In O’Connor v. Donaldson , 1328 the Court held that “a State cannot con- stitutionally confine without more a nondangerous individual who is capable of surviving safely in freedom by himself or with the help of willing and responsible family members or friends.” 1329 The jury had found that Donaldson was not dangerous to himself or to oth- ers, and the Court ruled that he had been unconstitutionally con- 1324 See S AMUEL M. D AVIS , R IGHTS OF J UVENILES : T HE J UVENILE J USTICE S YSTEM , ch. 4, Waiver of Jurisdiction (2d ed. 1989). 1325 492 U.S. 361 (1989). 1326 Thompson v. Oklahoma, 487 U.S. 815 (1988). 1327 See analysis of Eighth Amendment principles, under “Capital Punishment,” supra . 1328 422 U.S. 563 (1975). The Court bypassed “the difficult issues of constitu- tional law” raised by the lower courts’ resolution of the case, that is, the right to treatment of the involuntarily committed, discussed under “Liberty Interests of People with Mental Disabilities: Commitment and Treatment,” supra . 1329 422 U.S. at 576. Prior to O’Connor v. Donaldson, only in Minnesota ex rel. Pearson v. Probate Court, 309 U.S. 270 (1940), had the Court considered the issue. Other cases reflected the Court’s concern with the rights of convicted criminal defen- dants and generally required due process procedures or that the commitment of con- victed criminal defendants follow the procedures required for civil commitments. Specht v. Patterson, 386 U.S. 605 (1967); Baxstrom v. Herold, 383 U.S. 107 (1966); Lynch v. Overholser, 369 U.S. 705 (1962); Humphrey v. Cady, 405 U.S. 504 (1972); Jackson v. Indiana, 406 U.S. 715 (1972); McNeil v. Director, 407 U.S. 245 (1972). Cf. Murel v. Baltimore City Criminal Court, 407 U.S. 355 (1972). 2076 AMENDMENT 14—RIGHTS GUARANTEED
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fined. 1330 Left to another day were such questions as “when, or by what procedures, a mentally ill person may be confined by the State on any of the grounds which, under contemporary statutes, are gen- erally advanced to justify involuntary confinement of such a per- son—to prevent injury to the public, to ensure his own survival or safety, or to alleviate or cure his illness” 1331 and the right, if any, to receive treatment for the confined person’s illness. To conform to due process requirements, procedures for voluntary admission should recognize the possibility that persons in need of treatment may not be competent to give informed consent; this is not a situation where availability of a meaningful post-deprivation remedy can cure the due process violation.
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