Competency and Incompetency

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Competency to stand trial is brought up in court more then insanity defenses. To be able to figure out whether an individual is competent or incompetent to stand trial facts of mental disorders must be brought to light. If an individual suffers from a mental illness such as schizophrenia or a disorder such as delusional, major depressive, postpartum psychosis, antisocial personality disorder or conduct disorder they may not be competent to stand trial. Being incompetent to stand trial is defined by Bartol (2008) as a judicial determination that a defendant lacks sufficient ability to understand the legal process against him or her and/or to assist a lawyer in the preparation of a defense. There is a legal requirement that a defendant is able to understand the proceedings and to help the attorney in preparing a defense. (Bartol, 2008) In 1960, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Dusky v. United States that a defendant must have adequate ability to lucidly consult with his attorney and to have rational and factual comprehension of the charges against him in order to be found CST. This was the first case in the United States that had the competency of the defendant questioned. Because of Dusky v. United States most if not all states now have to make sure that a defendant is competent to stand trial. The court outlined the basic standards for determining competency due to this case. Milton Dusky, a 33 year old man, was charged with assisting in the rape of an underage female and kidnapping. He was clearly suffering from schizophrenia but was found Competent to Stand Trial and received a sentence of 45 years. On petition of writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court, the petitioner requested that his conviction be reversed on the grounds that he was not competent to stand trial at the time of the proceeding. Upon reviewing the evidence, the court decided to

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