Friday, February 03, 2006

People v. Fisher (Cal. Ct. App. - Jan. 30, 2006)

Todd Fisher is convicted of forcible oral copulation and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He's sentenced to three whole years in prison. Wow.

After his sentence is over, California -- shockingly -- wants to keep him locked up, so files an action to declare Fisher to be a mentally disordered offender. Since Fisher is far, far, far from the brightest bulb on this planet, he makes the infinitely wise decision to represent himself. Fisher's own testimony before the jury included his admissions (1) that he lives in "la la land," (2) that he's "crazy," and (3) that "I have a mental disorder." Oh yeah. That testimony will definitely help your case. Great decision. Keep it up.

Fisher has also consistently refused all psychological testing and every form of treatment. When hospital staff found a sharpened comb in his room, a sharpened plastic knife on his person, and a four-inch sewing needle in another part of his room, Fisher explained: "They aren't shanks. I just needed a screwdriver because I'm like MacGuyver."

Awesome. I'll leave you in utter suspense as to whether this guy is getting out anytime soon. In the unlikely event you can't deduce the result on your own, take a gander at Justice Yegan's six-page opinion, which is all it takes to reach the appropriate result.

P.S. - The only interesting doctrinal point worth mention comes from the final paragraph of Justice Yegan's opinion: "The instant case could serve as a paradigm for why a person with a severe mental disorder should not be allowed to veto his attorney's decision to waive jury, waive the right to counsel, and insist on self-representation." Food for thought.