People v. Lang, 61368

CourtSupreme Court of Illinois
Writing for the CourtMORAN
Citation498 N.E.2d 1105,101 Ill. Dec. 597,113 Ill.2d 407
Parties, 101 Ill.Dec. 597 The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellant, v. Donald LANG, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 61368,61368
Decision Date01 October 1986

Page 1105

498 N.E.2d 1105
113 Ill.2d 407, 101 Ill.Dec. 597
The PEOPLE of the State of Illinois, Appellant,
Donald LANG, Appellee.
No. 61368.
Supreme Court of Illinois.
Oct. 1, 1986.

Page 1108

[101 Ill.Dec. 600] [113 Ill.2d 414] Richard M. Daley, State's Atty., Cook County, Chicago, for appellant; Jane Clark Casey, Deputy State's Atty., Chief, Civ. Actions Bureau, Henry A. Hauser, Asst. State's Atty., Deputy Chief, Civ. Actions Bureau, Mark R. Davis, Marcia Maras, Asst. State's Attys., of counsel.

James J. Doherty, Public Defender, Cook County, Chicago, for appellee; Marilyn Martin, Asst. Public Defender, of counsel.

Justice MORAN delivered the opinion of the court:

Respondent, Donald Lang, is a 41-year-old, visually impaired, deaf mute. He was never taught to read or write, and for most of his life he has had virtually no ability to communicate with other people in any recognized language system. However, in recent years respondent has attained a limited ability to communicate in sign language, and he continues to receive sign-language instruction on a regular basis.

In March 1981, the circuit court of Cook County found respondent unfit to stand trial for the 1971 murder of a woman. The court also determined that no substantial probability existed that respondent would obtain [113 Ill.2d 415] fitness within one year. Thereafter, the State sought to obtain respondent's involuntary admission to the Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities (Department). The State's request for an involuntary-commitment hearing was granted. The circuit court, in accordance with State statute, dismissed the murder charge with leave to reinstate. Ill.Rev.Stat.1981, ch. 38, par. 104-23(b)(3).

A hearing was held in May 1981, to determine if respondent was a person subject to involuntary admission under the provisions of the Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Code (Mental Health Code) (Ill.Rev.Stat.1981, ch. 91 1/2, par. 1-100 et seq.). Thereafter, on August 28, 1981, the circuit court found that respondent was a person subject to involuntary admission under section 1-119 of the Mental Health Code (Ill.Rev.Stat.1981, ch. 91 1/2, par. 1-119) and ordered that respondent be hospitalized in a mental-health facility designated by the Department. Subsequently, the circuit court, in accordance with the periodic-review provision of the Mental Health Code (see Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 91 1/2, par. 3-813), has made nine redeterminations of respondent's involuntary-admission status. In each instance the court has concluded that respondent's condition continues to meet the criteria for involuntary admission under section 1-119. However, no redetermination has been made concerning respondent's fitness to stand trial for the 1971 murder.

Following the seventh hearing on respondent's involuntary-admission status, his attorneys petitioned the circuit court for a formal hearing into respondent's fitness to stand trial for murder. The petition was denied and respondent appealed. That appeal was subsequently consolidated by the appellate court with appeals from the third, fourth, sixth and seventh involuntary-admission hearings. The appellate court reversed the circuit court [113 Ill.2d 416] in part, holding that respondent was entitled to a formal fitness hearing. However, it decided to "defer" consideration of the challenged hearings on involuntary admission in light of its resolution of the fitness issue. (127 Ill.App.3d 313, 316, 82 Ill.Dec. 523, 468 N.E.2d 1303.) We granted the State leave to appeal (94 Ill.2d R. 315). Subsequently respondent filed notices of appeal from the eighth and ninth hearings on his involuntary-admission status, and we allowed respondent's motion to transfer those appeals to this court pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 302(b) (94 Ill.2d R. 302(b)), and consolidated them with the previously filed appeals in this matter.

At issue is whether the trial court erred in refusing to grant respondent a new fitness hearing. Additionally, respondent contends: (1) that the term "mentally ill" in section 1-119 of the Mental Health Code (Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 91 1/2, par. 1-119) is unconstitutionally vague; (2) that the State failed to present clear and convincing proof that respondent was a person subject to involuntary admission under section 1-119; [101 Ill.Dec. 601]

Page 1109

(3) that this court's standard equating mental illness with "unfitness not due to solely a physical condition" violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the Federal and Illinois constitutions; (4) that the orders for involuntary admission entered after the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth commitment hearings must be reversed because they were based on inadmissible evidence; (5) that certain testimony at the ninth hearing on involuntary admission should have been stricken because the State violated applicable discovery provisions; (6) that the murder indictment against respondent must be dismissed because he was not provided a discharge hearing pursuant to section 104-23(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1963 (Ill.Rev.Stat.1985, ch. 38, par. 104-23(a)); and (7) that the trial court impermissibly relied upon evidence that others react negatively to respondent in finding[113 Ill.2d 417] that respondent is dangerous to himself and others.

The events of respondent's case prior to 1979 are described in previous opinions of this court (see People v. Lang (1979), 76 Ill.2d 311, 29 Ill.Dec. 87, 391 N.E.2d 350; People ex rel. Myers v. Briggs (1970), 46 Ill.2d 281, 263 N.E.2d 109; People v. Lang (1967), 37 Ill.2d 75, 224 N.E.2d 838) and will not be repeated here. We also note that no appeals were taken from the orders of involuntary admission entered following the first, second and fifth commitment hearings. Respondent filed a notice of appeal from the order continuing his involuntary-admission status following the 10th commitment hearing, and a transcript of that hearing was filed in this court. However, no motion was made to transfer that appeal from the appellate court to this court. As such, the record from the 10th hearing is not a part of the record in the case before this court, and it will not be considered. Finally, we note that, because of the number of appellate cases and the voluminous record, it is impractical to set forth all of the evidence in the record. The following is a summary of the relevant facts needed to resolve the issues raised in this appeal.

The initial hearing on respondent's involuntary-admission status was held in May 1981. At that hearing the court heard testimony from five psychologists, three psychiatrists, a social worker, and Julius Lang, respondent's older brother and conservator. Correctional officers and staff from the Cook County department of corrections, where respondent had previously been held, also testified. Thereafter, on August 28, 1981, the court found respondent to be a person subject to involuntary admission, and it ordered that respondent be hospitalized in a mental-health facility designated by the Department. Respondent was placed at the Manteno Mental Health Center in Manteno, Illinois. Subsequently, the State, as required by statute, petitioned the court to continue respondent's involuntary-admission status. A hearing [113 Ill.2d 418] was held on the State's petition for involuntary admission, and to review the treatment plan submitted by the Department for respondent. On November 6, 1981, the court found that respondent continued to meet the criteria for involuntary admission. The court also ordered that respondent's treatment plan include formal instruction in sign language, mathematics and reading; vocational training; and increased involvement with persons who communicate in sign language. The court found that the successful implementation of the treatment plan required respondent's transfer from Manteno to a Chicago facility. Thereafter, on December 3, 1981, respondent was transferred by the department to its Chicago-Read Mental Health Center (Chicago-Read).

For purposes of the third hearing on involuntary admission held on January 21, 1982 (Ill.App. 1st Dist. No. 82-429), the parties stipulated that the testimony of Drs. McCay Vernon and Albert Stipes would be identical to that given at the initial hearing on involuntary admission held in May 1981. Both doctors had testified for the State. In addition to the stipulated testimony, Drs. Gregory Szcerbinauk and John Mitchell testified on behalf of the State, and Dr. Robert Donoghue testified on behalf of respondent.

Dr. Vernon, a psychologist and professor at Western Maryland College, testified that

Page 1110

[101 Ill.Dec. 602] he was experienced in performing psychological evaluation of deaf persons with limited or no ability to communicate, and estimated that he conducted five to 10 such evaluations a year. His evaluation of respondent included the review of existing reports from psychiatrists and psychologists, the review of two psychological histories, and interviews with correctional officers and staff who supervised respondent at the Cook County department of corrections. In addition, Dr. Vernon spent six hours examining and testing respondent. He administered portions of the Wechsler test [113 Ill.2d 419] for children-adolescents, the Leiter International performance scale, the Draw-a-Person test, and the Thematic Apperception test. He also gave respondent a plastic model truck, which he requested respondent to assemble. He stated that respondent did not make a "full commitment" to the tests but was "totally committed" to assembling the model truck. Based on his testing and observations, Dr. Vernon concluded that respondent had at least a 90 to 100 I.Q., and that "relative to I.Q. he [respondent] cannot be called retarded."

Dr. Vernon diagnosed respondent as suffering from the mental disorder primitive personality, which is also known as surdophrenia. Dr. Vernon explained that the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
51 cases
  • State v. B.T.D., CR-17-1171
    • United States
    • Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals
    • 24 de maio de 2019
    ...license to practice medicine was not subject to a vagueness challenge because the statute was not a penal statute); and People v. Lang, 113 Ill. 2d 407, 454, 101 Ill.Dec. 597, 618, 498 N.E.2d 1105, 1126 (1986) (holding, in a case where the appellant asserted a vagueness challenge to a statu......
  • People v. Hampton, 70758
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 21 de maio de 1992
    ...alleged Miranda violation in motion to suppress or to object on that ground at trial waived the issue on review); People v. Lang (1986), 113 Ill.2d 407, 469, 101 Ill.Dec. 597, 498 N.E.2d 1105 (failure to raise argument in the trial court that fifth amendment privilege should apply to psychi......
  • People v. Boclair, No. 89388
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 29 de agosto de 2002
    ...If a statute can be made more definite by a reasonable construction, the court must give the statute that interpretation. People v. Lang, 113 Ill.2d 407, 455, 101 Ill.Dec. 597, 498 N.E.2d 1105 (1986). A statute will not be rendered unconstitutionally vague merely because one could imagine h......
  • C.E., In re, 73605
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Illinois
    • 19 de maio de 1994
    ...of the statute renders it sufficiently definite so as to preclude its arbitrary application [citations]." People v. Lang (1986), 113 Ill.2d 407, 454-55, 101 Ill.Dec. 597, 498 N.E.2d We conclude that the phrases at issue in section 2-107.1 are capable of intelligent interpretation when read ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT