2009 Competency to stand trial-a brief evaluation Albert Kastl PhD
John Podboy PhD
psychology CD 10581 Many authors have described detailed evaluations regarding competency to stand trial, and psychological instruments have also been developed. However, in some jurisdictions, there are severe limitations because of cost containment. The presenters describe a brief examination which considers the major issues in such assessments, namely, understanding the current legal situation, legal issues and procedures, the role of criminal justice personnel, and the ability to rationally cooperate with counsel. Attendees should be able to understand the nature of extensive assessments for competency to stand trial. They will also be provided a brief examination and will grasp the limitations of all examinations of this type. Dr. Albert Kastl has conducted hundreds of clinical assessments in the course of 40 years of clinical practice in Northern California. Dr. John Podboy maintains an extensive forensic practice in state and federal courts throughout the United States.
2007 Juvenile competency to stand trial: problems and pitfalls Thomas Evans PhD psychology CD 10365 Juvenile competency to stand trial continues to be an issue with which juvenile courts across the United States continue to struggle. For example, are strict Dusky criteria applied, or are juvenile "norms" to be applied? Unfortunately, there are no established norms or data available to guide psychologists in their evaluations. Further, are youths' competency related abilities to be compared to same aged youths, or is competency to be defined strictly by abilities defined by statute regardless of age?
2007 Conducting Forensic Assessment Screens of Competency to Stand Trial for Misdemeanor Criminal Cases
Lori Martinez, Psy.D.
Maxann Shwartz, Ph.D.
psychology CD 10368 This presentation will focus on the process of conducting brief forensic assessment screens of competency to stand trial for defendants facing misdemeanor charges. Specifically, the presenters will discuss the purpose and need to provide courts with efficient and ethical assessments, the pros and cons of a time limited assessment of a large volume of defendants, and will also review and discuss the report format and procedures used. Lori Martinez, Psy.D. is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist in private practice in New Mexico.
2006 Restoration of competency to stand trial-expectations of the court for forensic examiners Byron Herbel MD
Robert Cochrane PsyD
psychiatry journal 7057 no abstract
2005 Denial of mental illness as a barrier to competency to stand trial Greg Wolber PhD psychology journal 9010 R.D. was charged with assault. She has a long-standing history of a major mental illness with delusions and auditory hallucinations. Available evidence indicates that she was likely psychotic at the time of the alleged offense. During her evaluation for competency to stand trial, R.D. appeared to be in partial remission from her mental illness. In terms of competence, she seemed to have a good understanding of her charge and potential outcomes for her case. She also seemed to have a good factual understanding of the roles of difference courtroom personnel and of possible pleas. She reported that she had confidence in her attorney and that she could work with her defense counsel. However, she adamantly denied that she had a mental illness and she seemed incapable of considering any possible plea that would indicate that she might have a mental illness. This would include the consideration of a possible insanity defense which her attorney believed could have been a viable option for her. R.D. stated, "No way I m saying that I was crazy. I wasn't. God told me that I was right and that I was doing a good thing. He [the victim of the assault] was taking over minds for evil purposes." R.D.'s thinking about her choices concerning her pending trial appeared to be distorted. The fact that she denied that she was mentally ill seemed to have a significant bearing on her ability to plead and this denial likely represented a barrier to her competence to stand trial. This article presents discussion and case examples concerning the denial of major mental illness as a potential barrier to competency to stand trial. Defendants who are otherwise competent to stand trial may deny the fact that they have a mental illness with accompanying impaired judgment and distorted thinking. This can negatively impact their competence to make decisions during and about the trial process. Competency to stand trial when there is denial of major mental illness is examined for the following clinical instances: 1) making decisions relevant to court proceedings to include pleading, e.g., the insanity defense; 2) the complexities/context of individual cases; 3) major mental illness versus personality features, e.g., narcissism; and 4) neurocognitive dysfunction. Examples based on actual cases are presented.
2004 Restoration of competency to stand trial-expectations of the court for forensic examiners Timothy Michals MD
Steven Samuel PhD
psychiatry tapes 3111 It has been estimated that one-third of all admissions of mentally disordered criminal offenders to state and federal mental health facilities are for incompetence to stand trial. The issue of competency to stand trial has been characterized as the most significant mental health inquiry pursued by the system of criminal law. As such, findings from a forensic psychiatry competency evaluation exert a substantial influence in the court decisions. Our experiences with evaluating criminal defendants competency, some with mental retardation, revealed an array of intensive training programs whose ostensive goal is to render the defendant competent to assist counsel and to become a meaningful and informed participant in the trial process. Participants will become familiar with the current status of training programs for restoration of competency, and will understand the fundamental issues raised by a competency evaluation.
2003 Juvenile competency to stand trial: problems and pitfalls Thomas Evans PhD psychology journal 844 Due to changes in state law, it is now easier to impose adult sentences on juveniles. This has led to a steady increase in the number of referrals for juvenile competence to stand trial evaluations. Very little is currently known about youths referred for competency, and even less is known regarding the trial related skills and abilities they must possess. Further, it is not known whether these skills are fluid, thereby requiring adjustment for age considerations. This study specifically focused on the cognitive capacity of youths referred to the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court for competency evaluation. The IQ scores of youths found competent to stand trial were compared to the IQ scores of those found incompetent to stand trial. As expected, the IQ scores of those found competent to stand trial were higher. However, the Full Scale IQ scores of those found competent were far below the juvenile norms expectation of competency. Thus, while IQ scores are important data to be included in all competency evaluations, they should by no means be considered the only or even the main factor in evaluations of juvenile competence to stand trial, since no clear cut-off score emerges as an accurate predictor of competence. Thus, it is important to view juvenile competence as a set of skills that are nonspecifically related to intelligence quotients. Given that the majority of juvenile competency evaluations are referred due to suspected cognitive deficits, the relationship between IQ and these skills must be further investigated in future studies.
2003 Competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility: an examination of racial and gender differences among African American and Caucasian pretrial defendants Roslyn Caldwell PhD psychology journal 386 This investigation examined the differences between races and genders with respect to treatment histories, diagnoses, psycholegal decisions, and treatment recommendations. A total of 168 Caucasian males, 30 Caucasian females, 126 African American males, and 33 African American females were referred to an outpatient community mental health facility for evaluations of competency to stand trial and criminal responsibility. Consistent with the distribution of psychological disorders in general clinical settings, African Americans were more frequently diagnosed with psychotic disorders, while Caucasians were more frequently diagnosed with mood and substance related disorders, and other Axis I disorders. In addition, males were more frequently diagnosed with mood disorders, and females were more frequently diagnosed with a combination of psychotic, other Axis I disorders, and substance-related disorders. Results pertaining to psycholegal decisions revealed that defendants diagnosed with psychotic disorders were more likely to be found incompetent to stand trial. These results offer several insights into the nature of pretrial evaluations and the factors that effect psycholegal decisions.
2002 Juvenile competency to stand trial, challenges--restoration training Gwen Levitt DO
Jeffrey Trollinger MEd
psychiatry journal 1049 With the increase in juvenile crime, there are more and younger children entering the criminal justice system. Since these defendants must be afforded due process, competency to stand trial has become an issue. In Maricopa County, Arizona, there are so many cases of children being found incompetent, training programs have been initiated to work with these juveniles. Providing comprehensive training with this group of individuals can be both challenging and frustrating. This article reviews the available literature on the topic, characterizes the types of diagnostic categories and issues encountered, and proposes ways in which to address training curricula.
2002 Competency to stand trial in a case of delusional misidentification of the self and delusional therioanthropy J Arturo Silva MD psychiatry journal 294 Delusional misidentification of the self can involve physical and/or psychological delusional misidentification of the self. Delusional therioanthropy corresponds to a delusion of person to animal transformation involving people other than the delusional person. Delusional misidentification associated with violence has been well recognized during the past fifteen years. Cases of delusional misidentification involving issues of criminal responsibility or legal dangerousness to others have also been documented. In this article we present a case of delusional misidentification and delusional therioanthropy of the self that involved the psychiatric-legal issue of competency to stand trial.
2002 Juvenile competency to stand trial Gwen Levitt DO psychiatry journal 8081 no abstract
1999 Agreement rates, government psychologists - competency to stand trial Rodolfo Buigas, PhD
psychology tape 1130 The Federal Courts rely on the expert opinions of psychiatrists and psychologists when a defendant s competency to stand trial is raised. Early studies have examined the frequency of agreement and disagreement between the courts and forensic experts and found it to be high. A novel approach to this issue would be to explore those factors that might contribute to such high agreement between the court s decisions and those of the forensic experts. Variables such as amount of collateral sources of data utilized, extensiveness of psychological measures, and length of evaluation period were explored within the context of competency to stand trial evaluations ordered by the federal courts and conducted by a government agency (Bureau of Prisons) on a diverse ethnic and racial population.
1999 Competency to stand trial and the paranoid spectrum J Robert Noonan PhD psychology journal 285 Criminal defendants with paranoid disorders are frequently referred by the courts for evaluation of competency to stand trial. While these defendants share with other psychologically-based referrals potential difficulty rationally understanding the proceedings, they also present unique challenges for the psychologist who must accurately assess their capacity to reasonably consult with their attorneys in developing a defense. Since mistrust and unwillingness to relinquish control are hallmarks of this diagnostic spectrum, it becomes crucial to ascertain the extent to which the essential collaborative aspect of competency can be met. This article presents evaluation scenarios with defendants diagnosed with delusional disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, and paranoid personality disorder; identifies issues likely to be encountered with each condition; and explores evaluation strategies and outcomes.
1998 Competency to stand trial in low-IQ juveniles Geoffrey McKee PhD psychiatry journal 837 Previous research has indicated that adolescents of low intelligence are more likely to be found incompetent to stand trial (IST). Little, however, is known about the specific trial abilities and deficits of this population. This study of 108 juvenile felony defendants undergoing pretrial court-ordered evaluations compared the competency to stand trial (CST) abilities of nonpsychotic juveniles of low intelligence (borderline intellectual functioning and mental retardation) to juveniles of normal intelligence. Results indicated that low-IQ juveniles were three times more likely to have CST deficits and as less likely to know the penalties they faced, the prosecutor s role, or the adversarial nature of court proceedings. Moreover, the low-IQ group was less able to assist in their defense (disclose crime facts, work with attorney, understand plea bargaining). The groups were equivalent on some factual elements (knowing charges and pleas of guilty versus not guilty, judge s and attorney s role) and rational elements of legal proceedings (understanding the charges severity and definition, proper behavior in court) and in their motivation to avoid incarceration. Nonstatistical comparison to the competency abilities of a reference group of 88 nonpsychotic, normal-IQ adult defendants is presented. Implications of the data for the assessment of juveniles CST and restoration of incompetent juveniles are discussed.
1995 Competency to stand trial: evaluations and testimony Michael Armour PhD psychology tape 1695 no abstract at this time
1986 Assessment of competency to stand trial - mental competency vs. legal responsibility Daniel Davis PhD psychology journal 5001 Fitness to stand trial may be the most significant mental health inquiry in criminal law. The issue is raised some 40,000 times a year in the U.S. and approximately 10,000 defendants are sent for treatment to restore competency. Discussion of competency vs. legal responsibility, functional assessment, malingering, assessment instruments and expert testimony. Discussion of relevant legal cases.
1984 Competency to stand trial Henry Hartman MD psychiatry journal 6005 The whole problem of the role of the psychiatrist in aiding in the evaluation as to competency in the last decade. From this study it is possible to draw a composite picture of the way the use of the competency plea is widely viewed.
1984 Competency to stand trial-the psychiatric appraisal Emil Pawlowki MD
Ann Pawlowski AB
psychology journal 5197 no abstract