to Saint Elizabeths Hospital pursuant to 24 D.C. Code § 301(d).
On October 11, 1985, Mr. Potter filed a motion for unconditional release. Magistrate Dwyer held hearings on the motion on January 11 and 16, 1985. She issued an Order on September 13, 1985 denying Defendant's motion. This Court referred the unconditional release motion to the Magistrate nunc pro tunc to October 11, 1985. Magistrate Dwyer's Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law shall be treated herein as Proposed Findings and Recommendations to which Defendant has filed objections.
Defendant's Motion for Unconditional Release does not allege that his condition has improved or that he no longer needs treatment at Saint Elizabeths. In fact, no mention is made of the state of Mr. Potter's mental health. Rather, the motion raises legal objections to the procedure of Defendant's trial.
Defendant first argues that he should be unconditionally released because Magistrate Dwyer failed to address him before treating the government's version of the alleged incident as a stipulation of fact. As authority, Defendant cites Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure and United States v. Brown, 138 U.S. App. D.C. 398, 428 F.2d 1100 (D.C. Cir. 1970). Neither authority supports his proposition. Fed. R. Crim. P. 11 requires the Court to address the defendant personally before accepting a plea of guilty or nolo contendere. The Court in Brown held Rule 11 inapplicable, but required the trial judge "in the limited circumstances of (that) case" to personally address the defendant. In Brown, the defendant stipulated to the facts of the case against him and plead not guilty by reason of insanity. He was, however, convicted of the charges. It was this conviction that made Brown analogous to the situation described in Rule 11; Brown's stipulation to the facts of the case amounted to a plea of guilty. Such is not the case here where Defendant was found not guilty after an uncontested presentation of the insanity defense.
It is Defendant's second argument that convinces the Court to grant him relief; Mr. Potter contends that he was automatically committed to the hospital without personally having asserted the insanity defense as required by 24 D.C. Code § 301(d). Magistrate Dwyer relied on the following facts to determine that the defense was not imposed on Mr. Potter: he did not specifically object to the defense at trial or during his Bolton hearing; Dr. Polley had discussed his option with him before trial and he indicated a desire to pursue it; Mr. Potter had told his attorney that he wanted to avoid any possibility of going to jail.
Although the above evidence taken alone may indicate a desire on Defendant's part to plead not guilty by reason of insanity, there is other information in the record that belies this conclusion. Throughout Mr. Potter's hospital records are statements that he did not believe himself to be mentally ill. This fact is confirmed by his affidavit of October 11, 1984 in which he states that he did not believe at the time of the incident or the time of the affidavit that he was suffering from mental illness. At trial, Defendant sought to interrupt the only witness called on his behalf and later stated to the Court that the doctor was making up parts of his testimony and that he (Defendant) did appreciate the wrongfulness of his act. Beside these facts, it is also relevant that no written notice of intent to raise the insanity defense was filed in this matter as required by 24 D.C. Code § 301(j).
In United States v. Henry, 195 U.S. App. D.C. 110, 600 F.2d 924 (D.C. Cir. 1979), the Court wrote in a situation similar to this one:
Where, as here, there is evidence that the Government's focus was not on convicting a mentally ill defendant, but rather on committing him in the wake of an insanity acquittal, Section 301's summary procedures will not be available unless counsel and the court can meet the heavy burden of ensuring that the defendant personally, as distinguished from his attorney, fully understands the proceedings against him and actually raises the insanity defense.