Spada success: "idiot", "lunatic", "insane" replaced by "incompetent"

See earlier WLST post about this legislative initiative here.

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Ohio’s legislature yesterday passed bills that will remove from the Ohio Revised Code those first three words in the title and replace them with the last word. It’s hard to imagine that Governor Strickland wouldn’t sign this move into law.

The next target is to get the phrases “idiots” and “insane persons” removed from the Ohio Constitution provision that prohibits such people who fit those definitions from voting. As the ABJ notes, that will require a constitutional amendment.

Being persnickety, I would have thought the Akron Beacon Journal might have published the replacement definition for “incompetent person.” The bill’s analysis provides several good pieces of information, including the replacement definition (here it is in the bill):

The bill defines this term to mean “a person who is so mentally impaired as a result of a mental or physical illness or disability, mental retardation, or as a result of chronic substance abuse, that the person is incapable of taking proper care of the person’s self or property or fails to provide for the person’s family or other persons for whom the person is charged by law to provide.” This definition is the same as the definition of “incompetent” in R.C. 2111.01 (the law governing guardianships), except that it excludes “any person confined to a correctional institution within this state.”

Much, much better.

Who determines whether someone is incompetent? Who enforces that people have other people determined to be incompetent, or not? I didn’t see anything specifically in this bill – I imagine that determination remains the same for however it was determined that a person was declared an idiot, lunatic or insane person (probate court with mental health evaluations). Anyone who knows for sure, chime in. If I can find a minute, I will also email Senator Spada.

And, as a lawyer and social worker, thank you, Senator Spada.

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