A commission assigned to prepare a report on a man confined to a state mental hospital for the past 30 years has been asked to complete its work within a month.
Harold Blakelock, commission chairman and director of the psychiatric department at the State Training School in American Fork, said he has given the six committee members one month to prepare separate reports. He will make a recommendation to 3rd District Judge Pat B. Brian based on the findings.Brian ordered the review for Bernt Murphy, 51, who has spent more than half his life in Utah State Hospital, where he was committed in 1957 after confessing to the rape of a young girl and the rape-murder of a young woman two years earlier.
The committee has been asked to study, among other things, where Murphy could be housed and the cost, vocational programs available and whether he could function in society.
The commission also includes a social worker, a vocational assessment specialist, social services specialists and George Brinkerhoff, who represents the hospital.
"We here at the hospital feel that he is potentially dangerous," he said, adding that he also was concerned that society could be dangerous to Murphy. He said Murphy is marginally mentally retarded because he has been in a controlled environment for 31 years.
"To send someone out on the street is cruel and unusual punishment," Brinkerhoff said.
Dennis Cullimore, administration director of the hospital's forensic unit, said Murphy is not legally guilty of any crime.
He was found competent to stand trial on the rape charges in 1972, but was found not guilty by reason of insanity.