Criminal Law Keyed to Weaver
Jones v. United States
CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Jones (Defendant) was charged with attempted petit larceny after trying to steal a jacket from a department store in Washington, D.C. The maximum prison sentence for attempted petit larceny was one year. Before trial, the trial court ordered Defendant to undergo a competency determination, which concluded that Defendant was competent to stand trial but suffered from paranoid schizophrenia. The court also concluded that Defendant’s crime was a product of his mental illness. Defendant pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. The trial court, under the preponderance-of-the-evidence standard, found Defendant not guilty by reason of insanity and committed Defendant to a hospital for the mentally ill. A release hearing was held in February 1977, by which time Defendant had been committed for more than a year—the maximum amount of time Defendant could have spent in prison if he had been convicted. Defendant demanded unconditional release or to be recommitted under the standards for civil commitment, which require proof of dangerousness by clear and convincing evidence.
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