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.
McFarland, Assistant Public Defender, and Quinlan Steiner,
Public Defender, Anchorage, for amicus curiae Alaska Public
Before: Mannheimer, Chief Judge, Allard, Judge, and Hanley,
District Court Judge. [*]
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
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".
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."
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).
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. 
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.
description of how this issue was litigated in the superior
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."
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
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".
after the psychologist offered the opinion that Lane might
properly be found guilty but mentally ill, the following
colloquy occurred between ...