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Ch. 51 Recommitment – Instruction on Dangerousness, Sufficiency of Evidence

Oneida County v. Michael B., 2010AP002216-FT, District 3, 2/8/11

court of appeals decision (1-judge, not for publication); for Michael B.: Lora B. Cerone. SPD, Madison Appellate; case activity

Mental Recommitment – Instruction on Dangerousness

The following oral jury instruction didn’t impermissibly direct the jury to find dangerousness, on trial for mental recommitment: “This is a recommitment proceeding, therefore, the law requires that the requirement of a recent act, attempt or threat to do serious physical harm is satisfied. If you find that there is a substantial likelihood, based on [Michael B.’s] treatment record that he would be a proper subject for commitment if treatment were withdrawn.” This oral rendition inadvertently deviated from the written instructions, which correctly recited the law and which the jury would have reviewed. ¶¶9-13.

Mental Recommitment – Sufficiency of Evidence

Expert opinion testimony “that when Michael is not medicated, he is aggressive toward others and has made threats of shooting people and the police,” supported recommitment, ¶17.

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