DEFENSE OF MENTAL ILLNESS - EXPLANATION OF CONSEQUENCES OF VERDICT OF NOT GUILTY BY REASON OF MENTAL ILLNESS AND GUILTY WITH MENTAL DEFECT
If you decide that the defendant is not guilty by reason of mental illness at the time of the commission of the crime charged, the defendant shall not be released from confinement in a mental hospital until the court determines that the defendant is dangerous to the public peace and safety by being a risk of harm to himself/herself or others on account of a mental illness.
If you decide that the defendant is guilty with mental defect, you shall then determine the proper punishment as prescribed in these Instructions.
Statutory Authority: 22 O.S. Supp. 2017, § 1161(A)(2), (A)(5).
Notes on Use
This Instruction should be given when a defense of not guilty by reason of mental illness has been raised. The Court of Criminal Appeals held in Ullery v. State, 1999 OK CR 36, ¶ 28, 988 P.2d 332, 346, that a jury instruction on the consequences of a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity was not required. However, in an unpublished decision, Fears v. State, No. F-2004-1279 (July 7, 2006), the Court of Criminal Appeals has suggested that trial courts should use an instruction explaining the consequences of a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. There is a risk that jurors might confuse a verdict of not guilty by reason of mental illness with other not guilty verdicts and think that the defendant would go free if they returned a verdict of not guilty by reason of mental illness. See Lyles v. United States, 254 F.2d 725, 728 (D.C. Cir. 1957), overruled in part in Brawner v. United States, 471 F.2d 969 (D.C. Cir. 1972). This Instruction ought to avoid both juror confusion and also unnecessary speculation by jurors during their deliberations.