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Originally published Saturday, April 13, 2013 at 10:49 AM

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Judge backs Wash. law on releasing mentally ill

A Pierce County Superior Court judge is backing the current state law on when the mentally ill should be released from Western State Hospital in Lakewood.

The Associated Press

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TACOMA, Wash. —

A Pierce County Superior Court judge is backing the current state law on when the mentally ill should be released from Western State Hospital in Lakewood.

Judge Jerry Costello said on Friday he agrees that doctors, not judges, should make that decision.

The News Tribune ( http://is.gd/bJMJkV) made his point while reversing a March 13 ruling by a court commissioner in a case concerning two women committed to Western State more than two dozen times. Recently, both were released despite court orders to detain them.

The commissioner says the women were released for technically flawed reasons, despite state laws that give doctors wide discretion. He says the state's commitment system operates without legal accountability.

On Friday, Costello tackled Adams' legal reasoning while avoiding the issues surrounding the state's mental-health system.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com

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