II. Definitions

  1. Mental Competency
    1. Sufficient understanding and memory to comprehend their own situation
    2. Understanding of the consequence of their proposed actions
    3. Competence is determined by a judge
    4. May indicate whether a person may stand trial
      1. Can they distinguish truth from fiction
      2. Can they assist their attorney in their own defense

III. Evaluation: Competency Hearing Questions

  1. Does he have a legal argument or position?
    1. How to defend self against charges?
  2. Can he behave in the courtroom?
  3. Does he relate to his attorney?
    1. Does he confide in and trust in his attorney
    2. Does he agree with his attorney?
  4. Has he thought of a strategy of lesser charges?
    1. What if he disagrees with the lawyer?
  5. Does he understand the roles of trial participants?
    1. Jury
    2. Judge
    3. Witnesses
    4. Prosecuting attorney
    5. Defense counsel
  6. Understanding of court procedure?
  7. Understanding of significance of charges?
  8. Understanding of the Penalty?
  9. Likely outcome of the trial?
  10. Is he able to inform attorney of the relevant facts?
  11. Can he challenge the prosecution witnesses?
  12. Is he coherent enough to give relevant Testimony?
  13. Is he self defeating or self-serving?

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Related Studies

Ontology: Mental Competency (C0085285)

Definition (MSH) The ability to understand the nature and effect of the act in which the individual is engaged. (From Black's Law Dictionary, 6th ed).
Concepts Qualitative Concept (T080)
MSH D016743
English Competence, Mental, Competency, Mental, Mental Competence, Mental Competency, mental competence, mental competency
Swedish Mental kompetens
Czech duševní schopnost
Finnish Oikeustoimikelpoisuus
Japanese 無能-精神的, 精神的無能, 能力-精神的, 精神的能力
French Capacité mentale, Aptitude intellectuelle, Aptitude mentale, Capacité intellectuelle, Compétence mentale
Polish Kompetencja umysłowa, Zdolność pojmowania
Norwegian Mental kapasitet, Mental kompetanse, Kompetanse, mental
German Psychische Zurechnungsfähigkeit, Schuldfähigkeit, psychische, Zurechnungsfähigkeit, psychische
Dutch Competentie, mentale, Geestelijke toerekeningsvatbaarheid, Psychische toerekeningsvatbaarheid, Toerekeningsvatbaarheid
Portuguese Competência Mental
Italian Capacità di intendere
Spanish Competencia Mental