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Name: People v. Quinn
Case #: B139439
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 6
Opinion Date: 02/07/2001
Subsequent History: rev. den. 6/13/01
Summary

Although the issue was moot, the appellate court decided the appeal because the issues are recurring, present important issues of law, and are likely to otherwise evade review because the commitment of the mentally retarded, at issue here, is for only one year. Appellant failed to show that his counsel was inadequate for failing to raise the causation issue between dangerousness and retardation, and for failing to argue for a less restrictive placement. However, because the law does not require that dangerousness be caused by mental retardation, the failure to raise this issue was not prejudicial. Moreover, because no medical evidence supported a less restrictive placement, appellant’s speculation that he might have received a less restrictive commitment does not support a claim of ineffective assistance of counsel. The fact that Welfare and Institutions Code section 6500, which authorizes commitment of mentally retarded persons who are a danger to themselves or others, does not require that mental retardation be the cause of the danger, does not render the statute a violation of appellant’s right to equal protection under the law. The mentally ill and the mentally retarded are not similarly situated and there is a rationale basis for treating them differently based on accepted factual and medical differences. Welfare and Institutions Code section 6500, which authorizes commitment of mentally retarded persons who are a danger to themselves or others, does not require that mental retardation be the cause of the danger; accordingly, the fact that there was no proof that mental retardation was the cause of appellant’s dangerousness was of no consequence.