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Name: People v. Green
Case #: D044632
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/26/2006
Subsequent History: rehrg. den. 2/15/06
Summary

In an insanity case, where instructions fail to require the jury to find the necessary cognitive or volitional incapacity, the error was harmless. A defendant may be recommitted under Penal Code section 1026.5 where it is established that he suffers from a mental disorder that causes him to have serious difficulty controlling his behavior, and that as a result he poses a substantial danger of causing physical harm to others. Here, the court failed to instruct the jury regarding the necessary cognitive or volitional capacity for a recommitment under section 1026.5, but the error was harmless. The experts at trial had agreed that the defendant’s mental disorder created an unacceptable risk of violence, and further evidence showed that his mental disorder had in fact resulted in violence. A reasonable jury would have found the connection between his mental disorder and his dangerous conduct, and thus the instructional error was harmless.