Saturday, January 29, 2011

Nebraska Supreme Court backs law on court-ordered confinements of developmentally disabled persons in custody

From The AP:

LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of a law that lets the state keep a developmentally disabled person in custody.

In a ruling issued Jan. 28, the court upheld the Developmental Disability Court-Ordered Custody Act, which was passed in 2005. The court also backed application of the act by a Lancaster County District Court judge.

In 2007, the judge ruled that the man was incompetent to stand trial on a charge of sexual assault. The judge committed the man for treatment at the state psychiatric hospital in Lincoln.

In an appeal, the man's attorneys say the law is unconstitutional in part because it did not require the state to prove before confining a person with developmental disabilities that the person poses a threat to others.

The high court disagreed.