Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Lane v. State

Court of Appeals of Alaska

September 16, 2016

LENNIE LANE III, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF ALASKA, Appellee.

         Appeal from the Superior Court, Third Judicial District, Anchorage, Trial Court No. 3AN-08-13841 CR Michael R. Spaan, Judge.

          Appearances: Dan S. Bair, Assistant Public Advocate, Appeals and Statewide Defense Section, and Richard Allen, Public Advocate, Anchorage, for the Appellant.

          Timothy W. Terrell, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Criminal Appeals, Anchorage, and Craig W. Richards, Attorney General, Juneau, for the Appellee.

          Renee McFarland, Assistant Public Defender, and Quinlan Steiner, Public Defender, Anchorage, for amicus curiae Alaska Public Defender Agency.

          Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Hanley, District Court Judge. [*]

          OPINION

          MANNHEIMER, Judge.

         At the conclusion of a jury trial, the defendant in this case, Lennie Lane III, was found guilty of first-degree sexual assault, second-degree physical assault, and evidence tampering.

         Following the trial, but prior to sentencing, Lane's attorney filed a motion asking the superior court to make a post-verdict finding (under the procedures set forth in AS 12.47.060) that Lane was "guilty but mentally ill".

         Prompted by the defense attorney's motion, the superior court held a hearing at which the court heard testimony from the psychologist who had previously examined Lane. But more importantly, the prosecutor and Lane's attorney both stipulated that Lane should be found guilty but mentally ill. Based on the attorneys' stipulation, the superior court declared Lane to be guilty but mentally ill. And later, following Lane's sentencing, the superior court incorporated this finding into its written judgement - adding the words: "The Court has determined that the [d]efendant is [g]uilty, but mentally ill."

         Because of the court's "guilty but mentally ill" finding, Lane became statutorily entitled to mental health treatment while he is in prison (as long as he remains dangerous because of a mental disease or defect). [1] But at the same time, because of this finding, Lane suffered a significant legal detriment: he became ineligible for parole or furlough release as long as he is receiving this mental health treatment, and he will potentially face a petition for involuntary mental commitment when he completes his sentence of imprisonment. [2]

         Because of these adverse consequences of a "guilty but mentally ill" verdict, this Court examined the record to make sure that Lane had knowingly concurred in his attorney's request for the superior court to enter this verdict. The record showed just the opposite.

         A description of how this issue was litigated in the superior court

         As we described earlier, the superior court held a hearing after Lane's attorney filed a post-trial motion asking the superior court to find Lane guilty but mentally ill. At this hearing, the prosecutor expressed surprise at the unusual circumstance that a defendant would ask the court for a guilty but mentally ill verdict - since, in the words of the prosecutor, such verdicts are "[generally] viewed as a negative, because a [defendant] who is guilty but mentally ill ... is not eligible for discretionary parole." The prosecutor suggested that "perhaps [we should get] a few words from [the] defendant."

         But instead of addressing Lane personally, the superior court spoke to Lane's attorney, asking him if it was "[his] goal" to have the court find Lane guilty but mentally ill. Lane's attorney confirmed that this was, indeed, his goal - and he asked the court to make that finding "right now", without waiting for any further psychiatric evaluations, to "foreclose any possibility that the doctors would not find [Lane] to be mentally ill."

         The superior court then heard testimony from the psychologist who had previously examined Lane. The psychologist told the judge that she diagnosed Lane as having a delusional disorder - and that, with this diagnosis, Lane fit the legal definition of "guilty but mentally ill".

         Immediately after the psychologist offered the opinion that Lane might properly be found guilty but mentally ill, the following colloquy occurred between ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.