H. B. 2033
(By Delegates Linch, Pino, Trump and Staton)
[Passed March 11, 1995; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend and reenact sections three and four, article six-
a, chapter twenty-seven of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended; and to further
amend said article by adding thereto a new section,
designated section nine, all relating to the commitment of
mentally ill, mentally retarded or addicted persons charged
with a crime.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections three and four, article six-a, chapter twenty-
seven of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said
article be further amended by adding thereto a new section,
designated section nine, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 6A. COMMITMENT OF PERSONS CHARGED OR CONVICTED OF A
§27-6A-3. Court jurisdiction over persons found not guilty by
reason of mental illness, mental retardation or addiction.
(a) After the entry of a judgment of not guilty by reason of mental illness, mental retardation or addiction, the court of
record shall determine on the record the offense of which the
person otherwise would have been convicted, and the maximum
sentence he could have received. The court shall commit such
defendant to a mental health facility under the jurisdiction of
the department of health, with the court retaining jurisdiction
over the defendant for the maximum sentence period.
(b) If the defendant is released from an inpatient mental
health facility while under the jurisdiction of the court, the
court may impose such conditions as are necessary to protect the
safety of the public.
27-6A-4. Release from jurisdiction of the court; discharge.
(a) No later than thirty days prior to the release of a
defendant because of the expiration of the court's jurisdiction,
if the defendant's supervising physician believes that the
defendant's mental illness or mental retardation or addiction
causes the defendant to be dangerous to self or others, the
supervising physician shall notify the prosecuting attorney in
the county of the court having jurisdiction of such opinion and
the basis therefor. Following this notification, the prosecuting
attorney shall file a civil commitment application against the
defendant, pursuant to article five of this chapter.
(b) The court may discharge a mentally ill or addicted
defendant from the court's period of jurisdiction prior to the
expiration of the period specified in this section only when the
court finds that the person is no longer mentally ill or addicted
and that the person is no longer a danger to self or others. The
court may discharge a mentally retarded defendant from the court's period of jurisdiction prior to the expiration of the
period specified in this section only when the court finds that
the person is no longer a danger to self or others. However, a
defendant may not be released from the jurisdiction of the court
when the defendant's mental illness is in remission solely as a
result of medication or hospitalization or other mode of
treatment if it can be determined within a reasonable degree of
medical certainty that without continued therapy or
hospitalization or other mode of treatment, the defendant's
mental illness will make him a danger to self or others.
(c) Those persons committed under the provisions of this
article may be released or discharged from the in-patient mental
health facility only upon entry of an order from the court of
record which committed the defendant finding that the defenant
will not be a danger to self or others if so released, based upon
the evidence introduced at the hearing.
(d) The court shall promptly conduct a hearing after receipt
of the physician's notification referred to in subsection (a) of
this section. The clerk shall notify the prosecuting attorney
and the victim or next of kin of the victim of the offense for
which the person was committed of the hearing. The burden shall
be on the victim or next of kin to the victim to keep the court
apprised of that person's current mailing address.
§27-6A-9. Development of conditional release plans.
The department of health shall, on or before the first day
of the regular session of the Legislature in the year one
thousand nine hundred ninety-six, provide to the president of the
Senate and the speaker of the House of Delegates a complete proposed plan for the implementation of a conditional release or
outpatient status program for persons committed to an inpatient
mental health facility due to having been judicially determined
to be not guilty by reason of insanity, incompetence to stand
trial or civilly committed after having been judicially
determined to be a danger to self or others.