Essay on The Competency to Stand Trial

Essay on The Competency to Stand Trial

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The Supreme Court of the United States interpretation of the Sixth and a Fourteenth amendment is that defendants, who do not fit the legal description of competence to stand trial, should not be tried while they are in such a condition. Competency to stand trial refers to a person being able to participate as well as assist in his or her own defense. It has to be determined inline with the legal definition given by the laws before an individual can stand trial. The Supreme Court set a specific standard when determining competency to stand trial. The specific standard known as The Dusky Standards, which states that, a person must have sufficient ability to communicate with his or her attorney with a reasonable and rational understanding of the proceedings against him or her. These standards came to be after a mentally ill man named Milton Dusky kidnapped a fifteen year old girl named Alison McQuery, and took her over state lines with two boys she knew which ultimately led to her rape by the two boys (Dusky,1960). There are considerations that are made with respect to the statutes governing a Jurisdiction, and the criteria under law for the particular case. The adjudicative competence of the defendant has to be exhausted in the quest seeking to determine whether he or she is competent to stand trial. This refers not only to the defendant’s ability to take part in the procedures of the courtroom, but also for the other related procedures during the prosecution. All data must be taken into account when determining if someone is competent to stand trial. This data is not from the defendant in question, but rather from other parties who will help give the court an insight into him or her. They include reports from psychiatrists and othe...


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...e many people who may have a mental disability, that does not necessarily mean they are not competent for trial as long as they are capable of understanding the charges against them, and are able to effectively assist in their own defense. If a person can effectively and rationally understand the case against them, who the main players in the court are, and can assist in their own defense then they do not qualify to be found not competent to stand trial. Thus, the legal standard for competency to stand trial is very specific.



















References

Costanzo, M., & Krauss, D. (2012). Forensic and legal psychology: Psychological science applied to law. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.
Godiner v. Moran. (1993). Supreme Court of the United States.
United States v. Sell, 343 F.3d 950, 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 26859 (8th Cir., Sept. 2, 2003)

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