Evolving Standards of Dangerousness in Forensic Commitment Cases

Dennis B. Feld, J.D., and Kim L. Darrow, J.D., Mental Hygiene Legal Service, NY

In principle, the constitutional right to substantive due process requires judicial findings of both mental illness and dangerousness in order to justify involuntary psychiatric commitment. But what constitutes dangerousness, and what connection must be established between mental illness and dangerousness? This year the U.S. Supreme Court, in Kansas v. Crane, and the N.Y. State Court of Appeals, in Matter of David B., addressed these issues in cases involving a sexually violent predator statute and persons acquitted of criminal charges by reason of insanity. This workshop will examine the implications of these decisions and recent case law from other jurisdictions for the determination of dangerousness in civil and forensic commitment proceedings.

Conference discount on airfares from Northwest/KLM

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