Collection Summary

Creator: Bonnie, Richard J.
Title: Addendum to the Papers of Richard J. Bonnie [g]
Accession: MSS 81-9g
Parent Collection: The Papers of Richard J. Bonnie
Description: 19 boxes; 3.2 linear feet
Location: This collection is stored offsite. Please contact Special Collections before your visit to ensure your papers are available.
Photograph Collection: View 1 digitized photographs
Digitized Content: 1 objects
Use Restrictions: Correspondence and certain confidential files restricted to scholars having Bonnie's permission for access.

Collection Description & Arrangement

These papers (19 boxes, 3.2 linear feet) were donated to the Law Library in 1993. The documents include Law School Appointments Committee files, restricted to researchers having access permission from the Dean's Office, as well as unrestricted files for other Law School and University committees. In addition are papers of the American Psychiatric Association [APA], the State Human Rights Committee [SHRC], the Virginia Bar Association [VBA], the Virginia Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation [VDMHMR], and the Marihuana Project as well as some other miscellaneous files.

Biographical & Historical Information

Richard Jeffrey Bonnie, John S. Battle Professor of Law and director of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry and Public Policy at the University of Virginia, is a recognized authority in the fields of mental health, drug law and criminal law. In addition to his roles at the Law School, where he began teaching in 1969, Bonnie has worked for the federal government in various capacities, and as a private consultant.

Born in 1945 at Richmond, Va., Bonnie received his bachelor of arts degree from the Johns Hopkins University in 1966 and his law degree from Virginia three years later. He ranked first in his law school class, served on the editorial board of the Virginia Law Review, and belonged to the Order of the Coif and the Raven Society. Following graduation, Bonnie taught at the Law School for a year before becoming associate director of the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, serving from 1971 to 1973. In March 1972, the commission, under the direction of former Pennsylvania governor Raymond P. Shafer, unanimously recommended the decriminalization of consumption-related marijuana offenses. Although the report was endorsed by organizations such as the National Council of Churches and the National Education Association, it was quickly rejected by President Nixon and drew only a mixed response from state legislatures. An amendment to the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, drafted partially by Bonnie and incorporating the commission's findings, was approved by the National Conference of commissioners on Uniform
State Laws in 1973.

"From 1972 through 1977," Bonnie writes in the preface to his 1980 book, Marijuana Use and Criminal Sanctions, "I was actively involved in the effort to win legislative support for reforming the marijuana laws (p. iii)." During most of these years he was also teaching at the Law School (having returned in the fall of 1973), but he found time to participate in the marijuana reform movement in several ways. Bonnie was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse (1975-1980), served as a special assistant to the Attorney General of the United States, and helped write President Ford's White Paper on Drug Abuse in 1975. He testified on marijuana policy before two U.S. Senate subcommittees and 15 state legislative committees, and in 1976-1977 helped the National Governors' Conference develop its study on state marijuana penalties and policies. In 1977 he visited several European countries for the federal government, in part to explain the Carter administration's endorsement of marijuana decriminalization.

Besides Marijuana Use, Bonnie also co-authored The Marihuana Conviction (1974) with Virginia colleague Charles H. Whitebread II, as well as numerous articles on marijuana and drug law for scholarly journals and for periodicals ranging from the Washington Post to the National Enquirer. In the 1980s, Bonnie began to move away from drug law and turn his attention more to the fields of psychiatry, mental health and criminal law. He was chairman of the State Human Rights Committee (1979-1985), which was responsible for protecting the rights of the mentally ill and retarded in Virginia's public institutions, and co-authored a casebook on criminal law (1982) with Virginia professors Peter W. Low and John C. Jeffries, Jr. Bonnie became a noted expert on the insanity defense, a heated issue following the acquittal of John Hinckley, Jr. in 1982 for the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

Acquisition Information

Date Received 1991
Donor Information These papers were donated to the Law Library by Richard J. Bonnie in 1991.

Content List

Boxes 1-3

  • Restricted Files.

Box 4

  • 1974-1977, Academic Review Committee.
  • 1974-1975, Center for Advanced Studies.
  • 1973-1974, Educational Policy Committee
  • 1976-1979, Mental Health Law Project.  Externships.
  • 1976-1978, ROTC Committee.

Box 5

  • 1982, State Human Rights Committee [SHRC], Central State Hospital, Forensic Program.
  • 1985, SHRC, Hospitalization of Minors.
  • 1979-1981, SHRC, Human Rights Program Reports.
  • 1982-1984, SHRC, Local Human Rights Committee Meeting [LHRC].
  • 1980, SHRC, Lynchburg Training School and Hospital Variance.
  • 1979, SHRC, Mental Retardation Facilities Variances.
  • 1978-1982, SHRC, Meetings (4 folders)

Box 6

  • 1982-1993, SHRC, Meetings (8 folders)

Box 7

  • 1982-1983, SHRC, Newspaper Clippings, Mental Health
  • 1981-1983, SHRC, State Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Miscellaneous Papers.
  • 1979-1982, SHRC, Southwestern State Hospital
  • 1978-1980, SHRC, Western State Hospital Variances.
  • 1992, American Psychiatry Association [APA] Council, Advance Directives.
  • 1984-1987, APA Council, Competency to be executed.
  • 1990, APA Council Meetings.
  •  1991, APA Council, Minutes and Notes.

Box 8

  • 1992, APA Council, Minutes and Notes.
  • 1990-1991, APA Council, Miscellaneous Papers.
  • 1991, APA Council, Child Custody Task Force.
  • 1992-1993, APA, Doctor-Patient Sexual Misconduct, Resource Document.
  • 1990-1991, APA, Hospitalization of Minors Amendments
  • 1990, APA, Medicaid Fraud.
  • 1990-1991, APA, Peer Review of Forensic Testimony.
  • 1990, APA, Psychologists' Prescribing Privileges, Competence Patients.

Box 9

  • 1990-1991, APA, Right to Refuse Medication.
  • 1991, APA, Task Force on Use/Misuse of Diagnosis in Court.
  • 1991-1992, APA, Task Force on Voluntary Hospitalization.  (3 folders)
  • 1983, Virginia Commitment Bill.

Box 10

  • 1982, Virginia Civil Commitment.  (5 folders)

Box 11

  • 1982-1985, Virginia Civil Commitment Reform.  (3 folders)
  • 1982-1983, Virginia Civil Commitment Reports. (2 folders)
  • 1982, Virginia Civil Commitment Statutes and Drafts.
  • 1988, Virginia Civil Commitments.  Virginia Law Foundation [VLF] Report:  Emergency Detention of the Mentally Disabled.

Box 12

  • 1983-1984, Virginia Bar Association [VBA], Civil Commitment.
  • 1988, VBA Civil Commitment, Mandatory Outpatient Treatment of the Mentally Ill:  Problems and Prospects.
  • 1987, VBA, VLF, Civil Commitment Study, Grant Application.
  • 1985-1988, VBA, Commission on the Mentally Disabled: TDO Process.
  • 1987-1993, VBA Committee on the Mentally Disabled.  (3 folders)

Box 13

  • 1987-1988, VBA Committee on the Mentally Disabled: Mandatory Outpatient Treatment.
  • 1985-1987, VBA Committee on the Mentally Disabled: Surrogate Medical Decision Making.
  • 1987, VBA Committee on the Mentally Disabled: Hospitalization Of Minors.
  • 1989, VBA, Guardianship Competency Proposal.
  • 1987-1989, VBA, Surrogate Decision Making Bills.

Box 14

  • Virginia Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation [VDMHMR] [NIGRI], Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity Committee, HRJ 68.
  • 1983-1984, 1988-90, VDMHMR, Hospitalization of Minors. (5 folders).

Box 15

  • 1991-1992, VDMHMR, Legislative Package.
  • 1984-1985, VDMHMR, Task Force on Public Guardianship.
  • 1970-1973, Marihuana Project.  Uniform Drug Dependence, Treatment and Rehabilitation Act.  (5 folders)

Box 16

  • 1973, Marihuana Project, Uniform Drug Dependence Treatment and Rehabilitation Act.  (2 folders)
  • 1989-1991, American Bar Association [ABA], Federal Habeas Corpus Review of State Death Penalty Convictions.  (3 folders)

Box 17

  • 1986-1991, Committee on Problems of Drug Dependence [CPDD]
  • 1992, Del Sole, Joseph, LL-M Thesis.
  • 1972, Drug Dependence Treatment and Rehabilitation Act. Drafts.  (3 folders)

Box 18

  • 1992, Farber, Michael C. v. Committee on Legal Studies of West Virginia.  [3 folders]
  • 1971, Frey Model Act.  Treatment and Rehabilitation of Narcotics Addicts.
  • 1991-1992, Lewis v. Richmond Police Department.

Box 19

  • 1992, Miscellaneous Correspondence.
  • 1992-1993, National Health Leadership Council, Clinton-Gore '92.
  • 1987, National Organization for the Reform of the Marihuana Laws [NORML]
  • 1990-1991, Research Network on Mental Health and the Law.  Grant of the MacArthur Foundation.  (2 folders)
  • 1989, UVA, Center for the Study of Health Care Issues.
  • 1977-1979, UVA Faculty Senate.
  • 1987, UVA, Health Care Conference.
  • 1992, Virginia Guardianship Legislation.
  • 1992, Virginia Human Research Legislation.

Photographs (in photograph file cabinet)

  • 1976; Ethics and Human Value Implications of Science and Technology Meeting, W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center, Lake Placid, N.Y.
  • 1990?    Joe Giarratano
  • 1979    Browning Hoffman

Associated People

Use Policy

Access Correspondence and certain confidential files restricted to scholars having Bonnie's permission for access.
Use Restrictions Correspondence and certain confidential files restricted to scholars having Bonnie's permission for access.
Preferred Citation

The Papers of Richard J. Bonnie, MSS 81-9g, Box Number, Special Collections, University of Virginia Law Library

Unless otherwise stated, digital materials in our collections are available for use under a Creative Commons BY 4.0 License (CC-BY-4.0). For Use and Citation guidelines, see Special Collections Use Policy.