Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: May 3, 2016
Sen. Ron Sharp
Senate sends “guilty with mental defect”
bill to Governor
On Tuesday, the Senate gave unanimous final approval
to legislation that will create a new defense for those who suffer
from mental illness. Senate Bill 1214, by Sen. Ron
Sharp and Justin Wood, will modify the “not guilty by
reason of insanity” (NGRI) defense in Oklahoma by adding a
“guilty but with mental defect” and “not guilty
by reason of mental illness” defense.
“We’re seeing more and more people using the not guilty
by reason of insanity defense even though their crimes are premeditated,”
said Sharp, R-Shawnee. “These new defenses will ensure they
get the treatment they need for their mental illness but still go
to prison so they can be held accountable for their crimes.”
SB 1214 provides that anyone who has an antisocial personality disorder
and is found guilty with a mental illness cannot use the NGRI plea
and must complete the sentence for the crime.
A plea of guilty with mental defect will result in the same sentence
imposed on someone else convicted of the same crime. Anyone found
guilty with mental defect will be required to be examined by the
state Department of Mental Health prior to release on probation.
Within 45 days of the examination, the department must make recommendations
for treatment, which will serve as a condition for probation. The
recommended treatment will be paid for by the probationer and failure
to continue the treatment will be grounds for revocation of probation.
The probationer will also be required to file a psychiatric report
with the probation offers and the sentencing court every 6 months
during the probation period.
The legislation was requested by Pottawatomie County District Attorney,
Richard Smothermon, following the 2012 high profile murder case
involving Jerrod Murray. The East Central University student planned
and kidnapped fellow classmate, Generro Sanchez, and shot him multiple
times. He later confessed that he wanted to see what it felt like
to kill someone. Under Oklahoma law, Murray was charged with murder
but found not guilty by reason of insanity. He is serving his sentence
at the Oklahoma Forensic Center (OFC), the largest inpatient behavioral
health facility in the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and
Substance Abuse Services system, until such time that he is found
to not be a danger to himself or others.
The bill will next be considered by Gov. Fallin. If signed, the
new law will go into effect Nov. 1, 2016.
For more information,
Sen. Sharp: (405) 521-5539