American Journal of Law & Medicine

Mental Health: District Court Could Revoke Release of a Mentally Ill Prisoner for Failing to Comply with Non-Treatment Related Requirements--United States v. Franklin (1).

Mental Health: District Court Could Revoke Release of a Mentally Ill Prisoner for Failing to Comply with Non-Treatment Related Requirements--United States v. Franklin (1)--The Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit held that when a federal district court releases a prisoner suffering from mental disease, it may condition the release on the prisoner fulfilling requirements other than the requirement that he comply with a prescribed regimen of medical treatment. (2) Further, the district court may revoke the conditional release and recommit the prisoner if he does not comply with those additional requirements. (3)

The federal government involuntarily hospitalized Gordon Franklin due to his mental disease in 1991. (4) In 2003, the United States moved for Franklin's release based on its conclusions that his condition had improved enough for a conditional release to be appropriate. (5) The United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri (hereafter "the district court") granted the motion, placing eight conditions on Franklin's release. (6) Most of these conditions required him to comply with a prescribed regimen of medical treatment. However, the fourth condition stated that the U.S. probation office would supervise Franklin and that he must comply with the standard probation conditions of the Northern District of Florida. (7)

On August 18, 2004, Franklin called the probation office and first spoke to a receptionist, and then to probation officer Mark Davy. (8) In that conversation, Davy told Franklin that in the future he should discuss his issues with Davy or Davy's supervisor rather than with the receptionist. (9) In response, Franklin became agitated and upset with Davy and made threats directed towards Davy, Davy's supervisor, and the district court, such as "I will blow your brains out," and "the Judge who messed me up, he might need to be killed. …

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