Tuesday, March 01, 2011

People v. Superior Court (Salter) (Cal. Ct. App. - Feb. 24, 2011)

George Salter gets committed to Atascadero State Hospital.  After he's served his time, the medical director at Atascadero seeks to keep him there, believing him to be a mentally disordered offender.  So the State files the appropriate charges.  Thereafter, Salter gets reviewed by two independent experts.

The first expert says, nope, Salter's fine.  He should be released.  Though a second expert disagrees.

At which point the medical director at Atascadero says, after reading the expert's reports, well, I guess we were wrong about Salter.  I agree that at this point, he should be released.

So most everyone thinks he should be freed.  Including the director of the hospital.  So the trial court lets him go.

The Court of Appeal reverses.

Nope.  Even though the evidence may be fairly strongly one way, the People are still entitled to a trial.  And to keep Salter in involuntary treatment in the meantime.  (Which is also why the Court of Appeal granted a stay of Salter's release.)