CriminalCompetencies.pdf FORP 6102
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Ashley Blair on Monday February 2, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to FORP 6102 at George Washington University taught by Dr. Nick Xenakis in Winter2015. Since its upload, it has received 88 views. For similar materials see Psychology and Legal System 2 in Physiology at George Washington University.
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Date Created: 02/02/15
Week 2 Criminal Competencies 12015 Defendants have 2 choices 1 Can choose guilty or not guilty lawyer has no choice in this matter Courts take into account the nature of the delusion when determining competency Ex Bond vs Batman Criminal Competency Sometimes referred to as Adjudicative Competency Essentially means the ability to rationally make required decisions 0 To stand trial 0 To waive counsel and represent oneself This is the last thing the courts want It is a complete pain for the court In a high profile case someone will be put on standby counsel 0 To decide to testify C To plead guilty 0 Pursue or abandon appeals C To be executed Constitutional requirement due process Different from insanity Deals with the defendant39s Present mental state C Somebody could be completely insane during the crime but completely competent to stand trial Is a very narrow question May be raised at any time during the proceedings Requires relatively low abilities 0 Severe mental illness does not necessarily mean incompetent 0 Developmental disability does not necessarily mean incompetent Even during sentencing they need to be competent because they have the right to allocution get up an address the court on their behalf Competency to Stand Trial Dusky v United States 0 Established the Basic Test Provides O quotTest must be whether he has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceeding against himquot Per Curiam court did not sign their name to it Solicitor General argues all of the cases in the Supreme Court sometimes called the 10th justice he is an unbiased opinion that they go to for advice He says 0 quotthis case is a bad case to takequot and could be for a variety of reasonsnot enough in the record 0 quotthe defendant is not oriented to time and place and has some recollection of eventsreferred to as the crimequot gt not good because it does not reference anything to the court proceedings What if they did not do it Then they will obviously have no recollection of the events 0 New Has to have a reasonable degree of rational understandinggt but there is a level when the defendant becomes counterproductive for their lawyer to help them Ex a kid wants to take his trial to court for his possession of marijuana but the dice are loaded Rational and Factual Understanding Generally means 0 A general appreciation of how the legal system processes 0 A general understanding of the roles of the participants in the system Prosecutor defense counsel judge jury O A general appreciation of basic rights The right to plead guilty or not guilty 0 A general understanding of the charges and the reason the charges have bene brought Claimed or actual amnesia does not by itself negate this understanding Relationship with Counsel Some decisions are made by the counsel 0 General trial strategy 0 Evidence to be introduces 0 Lines of attack on prosecution evidence Some decisions made by defendant 0 To plead guilty 0 To testify Counsel advises even defendants decisions 0 Give them the pros and cons to each situation 0 You can39t tell them what to do but you can strongly advise them There is a lot of faith put in counsel to help decide if their defendant is competent or not because they are the one spending the most time with the defendant Waive Counsel Faretta v California 422 US 806 1975 0 Defendant has a constitutional right to selfrepresent 0 Waiver must be quotknowing and intelligentquot and that the choice must be approved by the courts 0 Dusky Rule applies as to Defendant39s ability to make choice Issue is not whether defendant can be competent to representation However someone39s mental status can change throughout the court process and that is why a lot of judges appoint standby counsel because this decision to selfrepresent is made before the trial begins Competency to plead guiltydecide to testify Even though these decisions may be more difficult the Dusky Standard applies 0 Godinez v Moran 1993 Some courts will in effect look at the waiver of rights in these cases with a higher level of scrutiny C These are the tests that are applied but they want to make sure the administrative aspect runs smoothly and is not interrupted to much Drope v Missouri 1975 Due process requires a psychiatric evaluation where there is a significant indicia of incompetence Judge must order evaluation even where defense counsel does not Chief Justice Burke gave the opinion The defendant gang raped his wife shot himself and then tried to kill his wife after the gang rape but before the trial She testified about strange behavior throws a temper tantrum and rolls himself down the stairs Tried to decide what his suicide attempt impacted his competency Steps of the trial 0 Gets charged and brought it 0 His absence was voluntary because he shot himself and they moved to court without him 0 They found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison 0 There was an unsuccessful pretrial motion footnote pg 100 0 Supreme Court denies appeal and says the decision is final 0 Drope brings a state habeas proceeding Trial was done in his absence They did not perform a psychiatric evaluation They failed to give a competence eval before trial 0 2 takeaways Judge can order a competency hearing even if cousel does not think so You need to always do one Jackson v Indiana 1972 No criminal commitment when found incompetent to stand trial and no possibility to become competent Civil commitment then required to hold with different standards and burden of proof Justice Blackmun wrote on the case Jackson was deaf and mute He stole 9 over the course of 2 robberies and they still took him to court 0 Deemed incompetent and there is little room for improvement 0 Then placed in state hospital for indefinitely 2 problems take away39s 0 Was not charged with anything 0 Was not given equal protection Feeble minded if they can get better Mentally Ill if they can get quotcuredquot they will be released but not likely Somebody can not be deemed or held to a higher standard than anybody else 0 Was not given due process Now they have to be found dangerous to not be released look out for the community Results of finding of incompetent to stand trial Charges remain intact Treatment provided to Regain Competence 0 Usually hospitalization 0 Sometimes an educational component as to the legal system Some people will never be competent 0 Charges must ultimately be dismissed But they are not required to be involved in the program 0 Separate court ruling to make them take medicine and be involved in the program Competency to be executed Mental Illness Ford v Wainwright 1986 0 quotOnly if the defendant is aware that his death is approaching can he prepare himself for his passingthe eighth amendment forbids the execution only of those who are unaware of the punishment they are about to suffer and why they are to suffer itquot Courts have split on forced medication solely to render someone competent to be executed 0 State v Perry based on Louisiana Constitution state cannot forcibly medicate ational is that is it punishment not treatment 0 Singleton v Norris 8th Circuit finds that forced medication may be medically necessary treatment not punishment short term benefits even if long term detriment 0 Supreme court has not ruled States are divided Developmental Disability Atkins v Virginia Left it to states to determine what constitutes mental retardation 2 Factors 0 IQ 0 Adaptive Skills Cannot care for their ADL39s Get their school records Cannot adapt to daily life Texasallows an execution if among other factors the court determines the criminal offense required forethought planning and complex execution Hall v Florida 2014 cannot have hard IQ cutoff before being allowed to present other evidence 0 Everybody with IQ above 70 can be executed 0 Federal said you could not do that Competency to waive Miranda Rights For a confession to be admissible it must be quotvoluntaryquot After miranda warnings are given 0 The interrogation must stop UNLESS the defendant 0 quotknowingly and intelligentlyquot waives his privilege against selfincrimination and his right to be retained or appointed counsel Special Issues with Juveniles Trial competence in juvenile courts has not been addressed by the supreme court 0 Some states have passed statutes following Dusky some with more restrictive standards O In the absence of statutes most courts follow Dusky Dusky Standard may be operationally different for juveniles 0 Age state of dev and context are important Juvenile Miranda Waiver Fare v Michael C 442 US 701 1979 0 Juvenile waivers of miranda rights must be viewed in the totality of circumstances 0 Attorneys have a specific role to fulfill 0 Asking to speak to probation office not sufficient to require interrogation to stop 0 Some states hold that a request to see a parent is sufficient
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