Essay on Competency, Stand Trial, And The Insanity Defense

Essay on Competency, Stand Trial, And The Insanity Defense

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1. Competency to stand Trial: Refers to the ability or inability of a person to stand trial, and the inability could be due to an issue preventing them from being able to participate in their defense. If a person is considered incompetent, it could be for many reasons, for instance a mental or physical disorder as well as an intellectual disability.
Allnutt, S., Samuels, A., & O 'driscoll, C. (2007). The insanity defence: From wild beasts to

M 'Naghten. Australasian Psychiatry Australas Psychiatry, 292-298.

2. Insanity (legal sense): A person can be declared insane if they are conscious while committing the crime, committing the criminal act voluntarily, and had no intent to inflict harm. A person declared insane lacks rational intent due to a deficit or disorder, which inhibits their rational thinking in which they cannot determine right or wrong.
1. Using the readings, describe two of the kinds of treatments that clinicians use to restore an individual’s competence to stand trial, and the kinds of incompetencies that are appropriate for these treatments.
Siegel, A. M., & Elwork, A.. (1990). Treating Incompetence to Stand Trial. Law and Human

Behavior, 14(1), 57–65.

Zapf, P., & Roesch, R. (2011). Future Directions in the Restoration of Competency to Stand

Trial. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 43-47.

Incompetency describes individuals who are currently unable to stand trial due to various factors. Incompetency can be a mental disorder, cognitive impairment, or intellectual disability. Defendants who are deemed incompetent are able to postpone their trial until their competency is restored. Two treatments used to restore competency are psychotropic medications and educational treatment programs.

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...individual is a risk. As discussed in class individuals being given this measure may be convincing and manipulate the administrator. As discussed individuals who are psychopaths may be able to manipulate the administrator into thinking, they do not have psychopathic tendencies. Additionally, the administrator may be bias when evaluating the individual. A final issue is that the defendant may not be truthful throughout the interview. Therefore, it is important to look at other factors besides the PCL- R to determine if a person is a danger. These could include other tests given by a different mental health professional or looking at past reports like arrest and mental health records. Additionally, another person could give the PCL-R again. Overall, yes this measure is useful in determining future dangerousness, but should not be the only measure used to predict this.

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