State v. Folks

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Law
  • Date Filed: 02-07-2018
  • Case #: A160677
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: DeVore, J. for the Court; Lagesen, P.J.; & James, J.

Defendant must provide evidence of long-term mental disorder from chronic substance abuse to prove "mental disease or defect" under ORS 161.295 and ORS 161.300. Transitory, episodic, drug-induced psychosis is not a "mental disease or defect" under those statutes.

Defendant appealed his murder conviction and assigned error to the trial court’s jury instruction that Defendant’s drug-induced psychosis was not a “mental disease or defect” under ORS 161.295 and ORS 161.300. On appeal, Defendant argued that, as a matter of law, a drug-induced psychosis – “insanity brought about by intoxication” – should be included within the meaning of ORS 161.295, just as insanity brought on by another cause. In response, State argued that the jury instruction was proper, and was supported by the legislative history of ORS 161.295. 

“Transitory, episodic, drug-induced psychosis” is not a “mental disease or defect” under ORS. 161.295 or ORS 161.300. The legislative history shows that “drug-induced syndromes” and “alcoholic stupors” are considered “personality disorders,” and shows express intent to exclude those from ORS 161.295 and ORS 161.300’s defenses for individuals with “mental disease or defect.” The legislature differentiated drug-induced psychosis from those who suffer “chronic mental impairment and whose disability continues to manifest independently of the use of or withdrawal from drugs.” Thus, the Court held that the trial court did not err in issuing its jury instruction because Defendant failed to provide evidence of “any lingering psychosis” or “long-term mental disorder from chronic substance abuse” to prove a “mental disease or defect.” Portion of judgment requiring Defendant to pay extradition costs reversed; otherwise affirmed. 

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