GPO-CONAN-2017-10-15.pdf

Is presumptive evidence of its illegal possession by

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is presumptive evidence of its illegal possession by all persons then occupying the vehicle.” 1203 The division of the Court in these cases and in the Mullaney v. Wilbur line of cases clearly shows the un- settled nature of the issues they concern. The Problem of the Incompetent or Insane Defendant. —It is a denial of due process to try or sentence a defendant who is insane or incompetent to stand trial. 1204 When it becomes evident during the trial that a defendant is or has become insane or incom- but the same presumption with regard to cocaine was invalid under the “rational connection” test because a great deal of the substance was produced domestically), and in Barnes v. United States, 412 U.S. 837 (1973) (under either test a presump- tion that possession of recently stolen property, if not satisfactorily explained, is grounds for inferring possessor knew it was stolen satisfies due process). 1201 Ulster County Court v. Allen, 442 U.S. 140, 167 (1979). 1202 442 U.S. at 167. 1203 442 U.S. at 142. The majority thought that possession was more likely than not the case from the circumstances, while the four dissenters disagreed. 442 U.S. at 168. See also Estelle v. McGuire, 502 U.S. 62 (1991) (upholding a jury instruction that, to dissenting Justices O’Connor and Stevens, id. at 75, seemed to direct the jury to draw the inference that evidence that a child had been “battered” in the past meant that the defendant, the child’s father, had necessarily done the batter- ing). 1204 Pate v. Robinson, 383 U.S. 375, 378 (1966) (citing Bishop v. United States, 350 U.S. 961 (1956)). The standard for competency to stand trial is whether the defendant “has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reason- able degree of rational understanding—and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him.” Dusky v. United States, 362 U.S. 402 (1960) (per curiam), cited with approval in Indiana v. Edwards, 128 S. Ct. 2379, 2383 (2008). The fact that a defendant is mentally competent to stand trial does not preclude a court from finding him not mentally competent to represent him- self at trial. Indiana v. Edwards, supra . 2053 AMENDMENT 14—RIGHTS GUARANTEED
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petent to stand trial, the court on its own initiative must conduct a hearing on the issue. 1205 Although there is no constitutional require- ment that the state assume the burden of proving a defendant com- petent, the state must provide the defendant with a chance to prove that he is incompetent to stand trial. Thus, a statutory presump- tion that a criminal defendant is competent to stand trial or a re- quirement that the defendant bear the burden of proving incompe- tence by a preponderance of the evidence does not violate due process. 1206 When a state determines that a person charged with a crimi- nal offense is incompetent to stand trial, he cannot be committed indefinitely for that reason. The court’s power is to commit him to a period no longer than is necessary to determine whether there is a substantial probability that he will attain his capacity in the fore- seeable future. If it is determined that he will not, then the state
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