criminal competencies__08

criminal competencies__08 - Criminal Competencies Criminal...

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Unformatted text preview: Criminal Competencies Criminal Competencies June 4, 2008 Criminal Competencies Competency evaluations very common (60,000/year) The most important psychological input in criminal cases Capacity/competency is ambiguous Competency is dependent upon the facts of the case Purposes of Competency Purposes of Competency Doctrine Doctrine to maintain fairness in the legal system threatened when mental incapacities reduce ability to meet demands of defendant’s role to insure accuracy of trial’s results defendant must recognize relevance of certain information that would be important for the court to hear in order to reach a “correct” verdict Ways in which demands of trials vary Ways in which demands of trials vary complexity and multiplicity of charges facing defendant . Are charges being tried separately? events associated with alleged offense . Were accomplices involved (who might have different stories)? range of possible penalties for this alleged offense . Does the offense allow for one fixed penalty, minimum-maximum, life, death? range of types of evidence available to counsel without defendant’s cooperation . Were witnesses present? Will physical evidence make it easy to raise reasonable doubt? simple or complex legal defenses available? Will a lot of witnesses or evidence be presented? From Grisso, T. Competency To Stand Trial Evaluations . Sarasota, FL: Professional Resource Exchange, 1988, p. 99-100. Sources of Legal Rules for Sources of Legal Rules for Competency Competency state statutes offer definitions of “incompetency” and rules defining the legal process one must go through in order to address the issue case law appellate rulings on disputes concerning interpretation of law administrative law Dusky v. United States Dusky v. United States “The test must be whether [the defendant] has sufficient present ability to consult with his attorney with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him ” If present, the incapacity must be a product of a “mental disease or defect” or “mental disorder” Legal Process for Competency Legal Process for Competency Raising the issue (anyone can raise, so should not assume “probably incompetent”) Evaluation (most states recognize psychologists, psychiatrists, and other qualified MHP’s) Hearing (procedures vary) Disposition (next step depends on findings) Remediation/Re-Evaluation Legal Competency is NOT: Legal Competency is NOT:...
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This note was uploaded on 12/01/2011 for the course CLP 7934 taught by Professor Staff during the Summer '08 term at University of Florida.

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criminal competencies__08 - Criminal Competencies Criminal...

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