Greenwood v. United States - 350 U.S. 366 (1956)


U.S. Supreme Court

Greenwood v. United States, 350 U.S. 366 (1956)

Greenwood v. United States

No. 460

Argued January 25, 1956

Decided March 5, 1956

350 U.S. 366

Syllabus

Acting under 18 U.S. C. §§ 4244-4248, a Federal District Court held a hearing on the sanity of petitioner, who had been indicted for robbery of a post office and felonious assault on a postal employee and had been found by authorities of a medical center for federal prisoners to be insane and unlikely to recover in the near future. After considering conflicting testimony and reports of psychiatrists, the Court found that petitioner was insane and so mentally incompetent that he could not stand trial; that, if released, he probably would endanger the safety of the officers, property, or other interests of the United States; and that no suitable arrangements for his custody and care, other than commitment to the custody of the Attorney General, were available. The Court therefore committed petitioner to the custody of the Attorney General until his sanity should be restored or his mental condition so improved that, if released, he would not endanger the safety of the officers, property, or other interests of the United States, or until suitable arrangements could be made for his custody and care by the State of his residence.

Held: the District Court's action is sustained. Pp. 350 U. S. 367-376.

(a) The statute deals not only with problems of temporary mental disorder, but also with mental disability which seems more than temporary. Pp. 350 U. S. 373-374.

(b) As here construed, the statute is within the power of Congress under the Necessary and Proper Clause, Art. I, § 8, cl. 18. Pp. 350 U. S. 375-376.

219 F.2d 376 affirmed.

Page 350 U. S. 367



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