State v. Shields

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 11-22-2017
  • Case #: A160497
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Shorr, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J. & Wollheim, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

“A person is guilty except for insanity if, as a result of mental disease or defect at the time of engaging in criminal conduct, the person lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of the conduct or to conform the conduct to the requirements of law.” ORS 161.295.

Defendant appealed a conviction for multiple crimes. On appeal, Defendant assigned error to the trial court’s denial to instruct the jury on the guilty except for insanity (GEI) defense, ORS 161.295, and further, for its refusal to include the GEI defense as an option on the verdict form. Defendant argued that the trial court was required to instruct the jury about the GEI defense because he had presented evidence that established he suffered from a mental disease or impairment. The State argued that Defendant had failed to provide any evidence that would allow a jury to find the required elements of the GEI defense. Under the relevant GEI statute: “[a] person is guilty except for insanity if, as a result of mental disease or defect at the time of engaging in criminal conduct, the person lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality of the conduct or to conform the conduct to the requirements of law.” ORS 161.295. The Court of Appeals found that the trial court did not err when it refused to instruct the jury on the GEI defense. The Court opined that Defendant did not present any evidence to the jury that would allow a conclusion that he lacked substantial capacity to appreciate the criminality of his conduct nor, that he lacked the ability to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law. The Court also found that the GEI defense option on the verdict form was also rightfully excluded for the same reasons Defendant’s GEI jury instruction was denied. Affirmed. 

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