Sunday, February 15, 2009
The first entry in this blog concerned the decision of the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Frederick Revels v. Mary Sanders, holding that the State of Missouri’s formula for determining whether Mr. Revels could be discharged from the state mental hospital where he had been confined for many years was unconstitutional. The State of Missouri unsuccessfully challenged that decision in the court en banc and in the United States Supreme Court. Finally, last month, Fred received a new hearing in the circuit court of Jackson County, Missouri, and was granted an unconditional discharge. The court concluded, “Mr. Revels has met his burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that he does not presently have a mental disease or defect that renders him dangerous to himself or others.” Therefore, the court, “with a great deal of angst and trepidation,” ordered his unconditional release. In the interim between the decision and his release, Mr. Revels has been diagnosed with some serious medical problems. It is hoped that in this case, justice delayed will not turn out to be justice denied.