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NCJ Number: 135564 Find in a Library
Title: Competence to Stand Trial: Clinical and Legal Considerations (From Criminal Court Consultation, P 173-188, 1989, Richard Rosner, Ronnie B Harmon, eds. -- See NCJ-135552)
Author(s): J R Ciccone
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Plenum Press
New York, NY 10013
Sale Source: Plenum Press
233 Spring Street
New York, NY 10013
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The evaluation of a defendant's competence to stand trial is one of the most important functions of forensic psychiatry and requires a careful psychiatric evaluation of the defendant after clarification of the question that the referring party is asking.
Abstract: This evaluation also requires a psychiatrist to have a working understanding of the criminal justice system and the issues involved in the defendant's specific charges. Knowledge of the specifics often requires the psychiatrist to talk with the defendant's attorney. After determining if a mental disorder is present, the psychiatrist considers how any of the impairments affect the defendant's competence to stand trial. Providing a well-written report gives the court relevant information and is an important framework for the psychiatrist's testimony. Among the issues still being resolved in court cases are the effects of amnesia on competence, the standard of proof, the right to a psychiatric examination and a hearing, and the application of the legal definition to specific cases. As the law on these issues evolves, psychiatrists will continue to have a crucial role by providing courts with information and reasoned opinions that will allow for just and humane decisions. 45 references (Author summary modified)
Main Term(s): Competency to stand trial
Index Term(s): Forensic psychiatry; Mentally ill offenders; Psychological evaluation
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