Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Crape: Insanity Acquittee Revocation Must Involve Failure to Comply with Regimen

In U.S. v. Crape, No. 09-12470 (April 21, 2010), the Court held that a district court has authority to revoke the conditional discharge of a person who was acquitted by reason of insanity and then committed, only if the person has failed to comply with his regimen of treatment.

Though recognizing that its position conflicted with decisions in three other Circuits, the Court held that the plain language of 18 U.S.C. § 4243(g), coupled with its legislative history, makes an acquittee’s failure to follow his doctors’ orders a prerequisite to the revocation of his release. The Court rejected the argument that the statute gave district courts authority to revoke a conditional discharge simply because an acquittee is “dangerous.” The Court pointed out that § 4243 differed from the supervised release statute, which delegates broader authority to district courts with regard to violations of supervised release.