CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

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Saturday, January 8, 2005

Mentally Ill Offenders

The Chicago Tribune has a story about an offender suffering from serious mental illness who has assaulted numerous persons but is still free.  "While Cook has been convicted twice of misdemeanor battery, in 1998 and 2001, the legal system has done little to stop him, a Tribune review of court documents shows. The system is simply ill-equipped to deal with mentally ill offenders who do not get lasting psychiatric help, prosecutors and police say.

Though prosecutors have repeatedly charged Cook with misdemeanors, the charges were dropped when he or the victims failed to show up in court."

I did not know that a defendant could get charges dropped by not showing up in court.  That seems like a very useful strategy. [Jack Chin]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2005/01/mentally_ill_of.html

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Comments

I think we need more details. For example, I once successfully obtained a dismissal of felony charges against a defendant who failed to appear in court. But his failure to appear resulted from his being involuntarily committed to a secure psychiatric facility in another state.

Posted by: Aaron | Jan 8, 2005 7:54:11 AM

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