Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals - Published Opinions

Monday, August 20, 2018

McIntosh: Particularly Severe Personality Disorder was "Mental Defect" for Civil Commitment Statute

In United States v. McIntosh, No. 16-16442 (Aug. 20, 2018) (William Pryor, Jill Pryor, Anderson) (per curiam), the Court upheld the district court's decision to deny the defendant unconditional release from civil confinement.

The defendant was found not guilty by reason of insanity, and the district court ordered him civilly committed under 18 USC 4243(f).  On appeal, the defendant argued that the district court erred by finding that his risk of danger to others was due to a "mental disease of defect." The Court concluded that there was no clear error given evidence that he suffered from a particularly severe personality disorder.  The Court rejected the argument that, under the statute, mental diseases were limited to those diagnoses that clinicians would classify as such.