State v. Dyous, No. 18871.

CourtSupreme Court of Connecticut
Writing for the CourtPALMER
Citation53 A.3d 153,307 Conn. 299
PartiesSTATE of Connecticut v. Anthony DYOUS.
Docket NumberNo. 18871.
Decision Date28 September 2012

307 Conn. 299
53 A.3d 153

STATE of Connecticut
v.
Anthony DYOUS.

No. 18871.

Supreme Court of Connecticut.

Argued March 19, 2012.
Decided Sept. 28, 2012.
*


[53 A.3d 155]


Richard E. Condon, Jr., assistant public defender, for the appellant (defendant).

Michele C. Lukban, senior assistant state's attorney, with whom, on the brief, were Patricia M. Froehlich, state's attorney, and Roger Caridad, senior assistant state's attorney, for the appellee (state).


ROGERS, C.J., and NORCOTT, PALMER, ZARELLA, McLACHLAN, EVELEIGH and HARPER, Js.**

PALMER, J.

[307 Conn. 301]The procedure for extending an insanity acquittee's 1 term of commitment to the psychiatric security review board (board) imposes greater burdens on individual

[53 A.3d 156]

liberty than does the civil commitment procedure applicable to civilly committed inmates, that is, mentally ill, convicted defendants who were transferred, pursuant to General Statutes §§ 17a–498 and 17a–515,2 to a psychiatric facility while they were serving their sentences, and whom the state seeks to commit to a similar institution after their sentences end. Among other disparities between the two commitment schemes, the procedure for recommitting insanity acquittees directs the finder of fact to “[consider] that its primary concern is the protection of society”; General Statutes § 17a–593 (g); whereas the procedure for recommitting civilly committed inmates directs the finder of fact to “[consider] whether ... a less restrictive placement is available....” General Statutes § 17a–498 (c). The primary issue in this case is whether [307 Conn. 302]such disparities violate the equal protection clause of the United States constitution.

The defendant, Anthony Dyous, appeals 3 from the judgment of the trial court, which granted the state's petition for an order of continued commitment pursuant to § 17a–593 (c).4 The defendant has been under the jurisdiction of the board since March, 1985, pursuant to General Statutes § 17a–582,5 for a period not to exceed twenty-five years, following his acquittal by reason of mental disease or defect 6 of two counts of kidnapping in the first degree, two counts of threatening in the second degree, and one count of carrying a dangerous weapon. In 2009, approximately one year before the end of the defendant's twenty-five year term, the state petitioned for an order of continued commitment, arguing that the defendant remained mentally ill and that his discharge from the jurisdiction of the board would constitute a danger to himself or others. The trial court, Swords, J., granted the state's petition and ordered that the defendant be committed to the jurisdiction of the board for an additional three years. The defendant's principal claim on appeal is that § 17a–593, which sets forth the continued commitment procedure that is applicable to insanity acquittees, violates his federal constitutional right to equal protection.7 The defendant contends that, because § 17a–593 burdens an insanity acquittee's liberty, the statute warrants intermediate scrutiny. The statute cannot withstand this level of scrutiny, according

[53 A.3d 157]

to the defendant, because subjecting insanity acquittees to a recommitment procedure [307 Conn. 303]that imposes greater burdens on individual liberty than does the procedure for obtaining an order of civil commitment set forth in § 17a–498, which applies to similarly situated civilly committed inmates, does not substantially relate to the achievement of an important governmental interest. The defendant also contends that the trial court incorrectly concluded that it lacked jurisdiction over his claim that he was denied his federal constitutional right to due process of law in that his original plea of not guilty by reason of insanity was not knowing, intelligent and voluntary because neither he nor his attorneys had known, when he entered his plea, that his period of commitment could be continued beyond the twenty-five year maximum term. With respect to the defendant's first claim, we do not decide whether § 17a–593 warrants intermediate scrutiny, nor do we decide whether insanity acquittees whom the state seeks to recommit after the expiration of their terms of commitment are similarly situated to civilly committed inmates. We do not decide these issues because we agree with the state that § 17a–593 would withstand intermediate scrutiny if such scrutiny were warranted.8 We also conclude that the trial court correctly determined that it lacked jurisdiction over the defendant's claim that his original plea of not guilty by reason of insanity was not knowing, intelligent, and [307 Conn. 304]voluntary. Accordingly, we affirm the trial court's judgment granting the state's petition for an order of continued commitment.

At the outset, we recount the relevant facts and procedural history, beginning with a synopsis of the defendant's psychiatric history as set forth in the trial court's memorandum of decision. “Between 1977 and the time of the incident [that] resulted in his criminal commitment, the [defendant] was hospitalized three times in psychiatric facilities. Thereafter, in December, 1983, the [defendant] hijacked a bus carrying forty-seven people, including a child. He threatened the driver with a bomb and nerve gas, and stated he had been asked by God to deliver a message. During and after this incident, the [defendant] exhibited signs of delusional thinking and symptoms of psychosis. The [defendant] was arrested, found not guilty by reason of [insanity] and committed to the commissioner of mental health for a period of twenty-five years. The [defendant] was confined to the Whiting Forensic Institute [ (Whiting), a maximum security psychiatric facility] for a period of time and then transferred to ... Norwich State Hospital.

“On January 17, 1986, the [defendant] escaped from Norwich [State Hospital] with a female peer, and they traveled to South Carolina, to Texas and, finally, to Mexico. When [the defendant was] located in Mexico in September, 1986, [he] exhibited symptoms of psychosis. He was returned to Connecticut and, upon admission to Whiting, was found to be grossly psychotic and experiencing auditory and visual hallucinations as well as grandiose and persecutory delusions. While at Whiting, he was thereafter involved in a violent incident [that resulted in his own injuries, as well as injuries to staff members] and other patients.

“In 1989, based on his clinical stability, the [defendant] was transferred to Norwich [State Hospital]. From [307 Conn. 305][1990

[53 A.3d 158]

through 1992], he was granted a series of temporary leaves [that] were terminated when he rendered a positive drug screen for cocaine. After a [period of] time, temporary leaves were reinstated, and, in July, 1995, he was granted a conditional leave. In June, 1996, the [defendant] began to exhibit symptoms of psychosis and admitted that he had stopped taking his antipsychotic medication. He was admitted to Connecticut Valley Hospital but refused some of his medications. A few days later, he escaped from [that] hospital, and, several days thereafter, he was found ... [and] returned to Whiting. At that time, he was exhibiting psychotic and paranoid symptoms, as well as delusional thinking. He became violent and was placed in four point restraints for six hours.

“During the next several years, the [defendant] remained at Whiting and was involved in a series of assaults. From 1996 [through] 2005, the [defendant's] behavior at Whiting was characterized by chronic refusal to take medication, irritability, mood lability, grandiosity, paranoid ideation, rule breaking, physical altercations with peers and refusal to engage meaningfully in treatment.

“In 2005, there was a reduction in the [defendant's] aggression, an improvement in his participation in treatment and increased cooperation with his treatment team. Based on [these improvements], in mid–2006, the [defendant] was transferred to Dutcher [Hall of Connecticut Valley Hospital], a less secure [area] on the hospital campus. Treatment records after the transfer show that the [defendant exhibited] episodic irritability, mood instability, grandiosity, paranoid ideation and [that] he refused to take his medication, claiming [that] he could control his behavior. Ultimately, the treatment team convinced him to take ... mood stabilizing medication, but [he then] changed his mind and refused. A treatment impasse ensued, and the [defendant] was [307 Conn. 306]transferred to another unit. In the new unit, his psychiatrist noted mood lability and ongoing conflicts with peers. After working closely with the [defendant], the psychiatrist was able to convince him to take the mood stabilizing medication, Trileptal. Even after starting Trileptal, however, the [defendant] had another altercation with a peer and was again transferred. In December, 2009, he was transferred to yet another unit following problems with another patient.”

During his twenty-five year term of commitment to the jurisdiction of the board, the defendant filed two applications for discharge, the first in 2003 and the second in 2007. The trial court dismissed both applications. In dismissing the more recent application, the trial court observed that “[t]here is little or no dispute that the [defendant] suffers from a long-standing mental illness. In the several years prior to the commission of the underlying crimes, the [defendant] was admitted to Norwich State Hospital for two separate psychiatric admissions. Thereafter, during a September, 1986 admission to Whiting ... the [defendant] was described as grossly psychotic and experiencing visual and auditory hallucinations. Much later, on January 31, 2007, the [defendant's] diagnosis included delusional disorder, grandiose and persecutory type, and, most recently, the [defendant] has been diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, bipolar type.” The trial court also observed that “[t]he evidence is undisputed...

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17 practice notes
  • State v. Dyous, AC 42006
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • June 23, 2020
    ...acquittee's psychiatric history and proceedings with the criminal court and the board have been detailed extensively in State v. Dyous , 307 Conn. 299, 53 A.3d 153 (2012) ( Dyous I ), and State v. Dyous , 153 Conn. App. 266, 100 A.3d 1004 (2014) ( Dyous II ), appeal dismissed, 320 Conn. 176......
  • O'Dell v. Kozee, No. 18851.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • September 28, 2012
    ...drink to the point of intoxication, a jury reasonably could find that imbibing to such excess is a visible sign of impaired judgment due [307 Conn. 299]to alcohol consumption, one example of competent evidence of intoxication identified in Sanders.” Although I agree that evidence of imbibin......
  • State v. DeCiccio, No. 19104.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • December 23, 2014
    ...mechanical application of traditional, 315 Conn. 145often inaccurate, assumptions.” (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Dyous, 307 Conn. 299, 318, 53 A.3d 153 (2012). “[I]n judging the closeness of the relationship between the means chosen ... and the government's interest, three i......
  • State v. Deciccio, SC 19104
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • December 23, 2014
    ...the mechanical application of traditional, often inaccurate, assumptions." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Dyous, 307 Conn. 299, 318, 53 A.3d 153 (2012). "[I]n judging the closeness of the relationship between the means chosen . . . and the government's interest, thre......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • State v. Dyous, AC 42006
    • United States
    • Appellate Court of Connecticut
    • June 23, 2020
    ...acquittee's psychiatric history and proceedings with the criminal court and the board have been detailed extensively in State v. Dyous , 307 Conn. 299, 53 A.3d 153 (2012) ( Dyous I ), and State v. Dyous , 153 Conn. App. 266, 100 A.3d 1004 (2014) ( Dyous II ), appeal dismissed, 320 Conn. 176......
  • O'Dell v. Kozee, No. 18851.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • September 28, 2012
    ...drink to the point of intoxication, a jury reasonably could find that imbibing to such excess is a visible sign of impaired judgment due [307 Conn. 299]to alcohol consumption, one example of competent evidence of intoxication identified in Sanders.” Although I agree that evidence of imbibin......
  • State v. DeCiccio, No. 19104.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • December 23, 2014
    ...mechanical application of traditional, 315 Conn. 145often inaccurate, assumptions.” (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Dyous, 307 Conn. 299, 318, 53 A.3d 153 (2012). “[I]n judging the closeness of the relationship between the means chosen ... and the government's interest, three i......
  • State v. Deciccio, SC 19104
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Connecticut
    • December 23, 2014
    ...the mechanical application of traditional, often inaccurate, assumptions." (Internal quotation marks omitted.) State v. Dyous, 307 Conn. 299, 318, 53 A.3d 153 (2012). "[I]n judging the closeness of the relationship between the means chosen . . . and the government's interest, thre......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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