Essay On Competency To Stand Trial

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Competency to Stand Trial Assignment The major standard that is used in the US to decide the competency of a person to stand trial is the Dusky Standard, which was decided during the case of Dusky v. United States. The Dusky Standard sets forth two criteria that have to be met in order for a person to be competent to stand trial. These criteria are that the individual has both rational and factual understanding of the court proceedings and that the individual is able to assist their attorney with their defence (Costanzo & Krauss, 2015). In the case of Mr. Smith his attorney requests a competency to stand trial hearing due to Mr. Smith 's history of mental health issues and his inability to work with his attorney. Mr. Smith has a history…show more content…
Smith demonstrates that he understands the charges against him, as well as the possible punishment for those charges. While he did not know the maximum sentence for his charge, he did know the minimum and was able to later recall the maximum sentence after he was informed of it. He has problems remembering his plea options, but can explain his decision to plead guilty. Overall Mr. Smith seems to display decent factual understanding. However, his decision to plead guilty is based on Mr. Smith 's believe that there is an incriminating video in evidence that proves his guilt. This video does not exist and it is very likely that Mr. Smith 's mental health issues might be the cause of this false belief. Mr. Smith also believes that he does not have the chance of a fair trial, due to the judge 's attitude about people with mental illnesses. Mr. Smith 's attorney denies any knowledge of a bias the judge might hold against people with mental illnesses. Mr. Smith further holds the belief that his attorney advised him not to testify during his trial by communicating with him nonverbally, through Mr. Smith knowledge of his attorneys thoughts. His attorney, however, did not advise him on any matters regarding plans for the upcoming trial. So while his mental health symptoms might not affect his factual understanding, his false beliefs could interfere with his rational understanding and his ability to fully comprehend his situation and understanding how court proceedings relate to his
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