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Connecticut Supreme Court: Bail May Be Used to Protect Others

In an opinion handed down on November 3, 2015, the Supreme Court of Connecticut held that a man who had been acquitted by reason of insanity could be held in prison subject to a bond he could not afford as a consequence of subsequent crimes.

Francis Anderson, 46, had an extensive criminal justice history. On August 15, 2013, he was found not guilty oy reason of mental disease or defect of assault of a correction officer and other charges. He was committed to the Whiting Forensic Division of Connecticut Valley Hospital for not less than ten years.

At the hospital, he "commenced a pattern of assaulting other patients and hospital staff." This resulted in multiple misdemeanor and felony charges. The state filed a motion for bond review, asking that a monetary bond be imposed. Anderson opposed the motion, arguing the court lacked the authority to impose a bond under the conditions of the case.

The court determined that it retained authority to impose bond, based upon the commission of new offenses, on a confined insanity aquittee. It imposed a $100,000 bond. Anderson was transferred into the custody of the Commissioner of Corrections and imprisoned when he was unable to pay the bond. With the assistance of public defenders Monte P. Radler and Cynthia Love, Anderson filed a request for an expedited interlocutory appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Allowing the appeal, the Supreme Court held that the state constitution did not prohibit the imposition of bond on Anderson, even if he was unable to afford it and was not a flight risk. It held that the bond was properly imposed by the trial court "as a means to ensure the safety of other persons." The court also held that Anderson was not deprived of procedural due process as he had multiple bond hearings before being transferred into the custody of the commissioner. Further, "although temporarily in the custody of the Commissioner of Correction, [Anderson still possesses a right to some level of psychiatric treatment, even if that treatment is less than that to which he had become accustomed during his time at the hospital." This and the fact that there was no support for them in the record made Anderson's claims that he was not receiving any psychiatric treatment untenable. Therefore, the order imposing monetary bond as a condition of Anderson's release was upheld. See: State v. Anderson, Conn., No. 19399 (Decided Nov. 3, 2015).

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Related legal case

State v. Anderson