Maycock v. Martin

157 Conn. 56, 245 A.2d 574 (1968)

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Maycock v. Martin

Connecticut Supreme Court
157 Conn. 56, 245 A.2d 574 (1968)

  • Written by Nicole Gray , JD

Facts

Maycock (plaintiff) filed a writ of habeas corpus in a state trial court, seeking release from a state hospital after nearly 20 years of confinement. Maycock was first confined in 1943, for three months, and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia due to false beliefs that he was a prophet and was receiving divine messages from God. Six months after being released from his first commitment, Maycock was recommitted after removing his right eye as a sacrificial offering to God, as he claimed God had commanded him to do so. Following that commitment, Maycock was released on a probationary period, and three days after the probationary period ended and exactly three years to the date that he removed his eye, Maycock removed his right hand. Maycock was recommitted shortly thereafter and remained confined until petitioning the court for release. At Maycock’s habeas hearing, a psychiatrist from the hospital’s staff testified that Maycock’s mental condition had not changed since his commitment and that, given his strong religious beliefs and conduct during his hospitalization, Maycock was not believed likely to kill himself or injure others. However, the psychiatrist concluded that Maycock’s schizophrenia presented as grossly false religious beliefs and the removal of his eye and hand were manifestations of his illness, and if released from confinement, Maycock would possibly amputate his foot. Maycock testified that he had no plans of amputating his foot but would do so if God ever commanded him to. The trial court dismissed Maycock’s writ after finding that continued confinement was needed for Maycock’s welfare. Maycock appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ryan, J.)

Dissent (Shea, J.)

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