Fit To Stand Trial In Scotland

Sep 2016
19,460
13,491
My own world
#21
It is not a stupid standard. It is a legal term of art with a specific meaning that has nothing to do with one's medical condition per se, though one's mental health condition certainly bears on whether the person was insane at the time. A person who was "insane" did not understand the nature of what he or she was doing at the time of committing the act or acts in question, and did not know the difference between right and wrong. Insanity - FindLaw
I understand what you are saying but this has nothing to due with the defence itself. From what I understood it had more to do with the accused mental status during the trial itself. The legal system relies heavily on the opinion of the mental health professional to determine if the person is able to understand the criminal proceedings and the consequences of the outcome. The court has to be sure that the accused understands the ramifications of a plea bargain versus a full trial. I doubt very much the court would proceed to accept either a plea or go ahead with the trial if the doctor's opinion or during the trial itself the accused became mentally incompetent.
 
Last edited:
Likes: 1 person

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
74,549
43,277
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
#22
I understand what you are saying but this has nothing to due with the defence itself. From what I understood it had more to do with the accused mental status during the trial itself.
That is not a question of insanity, which is a defense to the crime; but rather a question of competence, which is the ability to understand the charges against him and to assist in his own defense. Insanity and incompetence (being legal terms-of-art) are entirely separate questions. Even if he was sane at the time the acts in question were committed, he may not be able to be tried, at least until he becomes competent (if ever he does).
 
Likes: 3 people
Jun 2014
60,492
34,751
Cleveland, Ohio
#23
I understand what you are saying but this has nothing to due with the defence itself. From what I understood it had more to do with the accused mental status during the trial itself. The legal system relies heavily on the opinion of the mental health professional to determine if the person is able to understand the criminal proceedings and the consequences of the outcome. The court has to be sure that the accused understands the ramifications of a plea bargain versus a full trial. I doubt very much the court would proceed to accept either a plea or go ahead with the trial if the doctor's opinion or during the trial itself the accused became mentally incompetent.
Apparently you are blissfully unaware of the sorry state of criminal justice in most urban jurisdictions, as best demonstrated by Texas.

Think "conveyer belt".

(I was posting with my pissed off at all the injustices created by the so-called justice system 'tude. For all I know, justice actually is a feature of some US criminal justice systems.

Just none I am familiar with.)
 
Last edited:
Sep 2016
19,460
13,491
My own world
#24
Apparently you are blissfully unaware of the sorry state of criminal justice in most urban jurisdictions, as best demonstrated by Texas.

Think "conveyer belt".

(I was posting with my pissed off at all the injustices created by the so-called justice system 'tude. For all I know, justice actually is a feature of some US criminal justice systems.

Just none I am familiar with.)
Are you saying that there are people who have stood trial that are not mentally competent at the time? I think it would be up to the lawyers to convince the judge with medical reports and so forth that the accused is mentally incompetent. There is a difference between being mentally ill and being mentally incompetent. While someone may suffer from a mental illness it will not bring them to a point were they are psychotic and interfere with their ability to understand what is happening.
 
Jun 2014
60,492
34,751
Cleveland, Ohio
#25
Are you saying that there are people who have stood trial that are not mentally competent at the time? I think it would be up to the lawyers to convince the judge with medical reports and so forth that the accused is mentally incompetent. There is a difference between being mentally ill and being mentally incompetent. While someone may suffer from a mental illness it will not bring them to a point were they are psychotic and interfere with their ability to understand what is happening.
"Competent to stand trial" is an extremely low standard. Anyone oriented to time and place is almost certainly going to pass. And that's a defect the legislature creates, not judges. They do not have the discretion to make a more humane standard.

I won't say there is a plague of chemically restrained, completely psychotic defendants who have endured trials, but they have certainly entered pleas.

It's not a coincidence that our prison populations include such enormous numbers of severely mentally ill people.
 
Sep 2016
19,460
13,491
My own world
#26
"Competent to stand trial" is an extremely low standard. Anyone oriented to time and place is almost certainly going to pass. And that's a defect the legislature creates, not judges. They do not have the discretion to make a more humane standard.

I won't say there is a plague of chemically restrained, completely psychotic defendants who have endured trials, but they have certainly entered pleas.

It's not a coincidence that our prison populations include such enormous numbers of severely mentally ill people.
Not necessarily just time and place. The assessment requires more than just that otherwise in wouldn't take the time it takes. I suppose it depends what State you reside but for example:

A judge or lawyer can request an evaluation whenever there are questions about a defendant's mental state. The number of requests in South Dakota has surged from a few dozen annually earlier this decade to nearly 150 last year.

Who conducts the evaluations?

The evaluations are typically conducted by a psychiatrist with specialized forensic training. The state's mental health hospital does three evaluations per month on a first-come, first-serve basis. Counties also seek out private psychiatrists to help shorten the wait time.
 
Last edited:
Jun 2014
60,492
34,751
Cleveland, Ohio
#27
Not necessarily just time and place. The assessment requires more than just that otherwise in wouldn't take the time it takes. I suppose it depends what in what State you reside but for example:

A judge or lawyer can request an evaluation whenever there are questions about a defendant's mental state. The number of requests in South Dakota has surged from a few dozen annually earlier this decade to nearly 150 last year.

Who conducts the evaluations?

The evaluations are typically conducted by a psychiatrist with specialized forensic training. The state's mental health hospital does three evaluations per month on a first-come, first-serve basis. Counties also seek out private psychiatrists to help shorten the wait time.
This is fabulous. However, I feel confident any local PD who made such requests would be fired, fast. Unless the case attracts press interest, the prisoner generator runs non-stop here. And in Chicago, Miami, Detroit, etc.

Any day, the adult male jail population here is probably never less than 50% mentally ill segregated.
 
Sep 2016
19,460
13,491
My own world
#28
This is fabulous. However, I feel confident any local PD who made such requests would be fired, fast. Unless the case attracts press interest, the prisoner generator runs non-stop here. And in Chicago, Miami, Detroit, etc.

Any day, the adult male jail population here is probably never less than 50% mentally ill segregated.
I think in Chicago that may have something to do with the fact that the defense may have been over used. Like I said there is a difference between being mentally ill and being mentally incompetent. The time and place thingy isn't really what a medical professional is looking for which is probably what he was told by someone to fake.
.
http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-b...3/C:13-3610:J:Posner:aut:T:fnOp:N:1501682:S:0

You see this person may have been ill or suffered from "antisocial personality disorder" but that does not render one incompetent. You can suffer from a mental illness but still be competent. When you say there are about 50% of people In prison mentally ill that may be true but that does not mean that they were incompetent nor does it mean that they didn't receive a fair trial. Mentally ill people are in control of their actions unless they go into the territory of being psychotic or delusional. The case of the fellow in Scotland it was feared he was going from being ill to being psychotic while the trial was going on because it was flaring up his illness as that particular mental illness has a spectrum and can be under control to full out nuts. With other illnesses like personality disorder not so much. Do you understand what I am trying to say?
 
Last edited:
Jun 2014
60,492
34,751
Cleveland, Ohio
#29
I think in Chicago that may have something to do with the fact that the defense may have been over used. Like I said there is a difference between being mentally ill and being mentally incompetent. The time and place thingy isn't really what a medical professional is looking for which is probably what he was told by someone to fake.
.
http://media.ca7.uscourts.gov/cgi-b...3/C:13-3610:J:Posner:aut:T:fnOp:N:1501682:S:0
You are referring to the rich white people system.

Due process for the poor, especially minorities, is shockingly different.