Competence of Defendant: Improper Reference to “Mental Retardation”
September 15th, 2021

CC 3451 instructs that “mental retardation” is an example of a developmental disability. However, the legislature has removed from derogatory references to “mental retardation”  and other such terms from the applicable statute. (PC 1367(a).) Accordingly, the term “mental retardation” as used in the final paragraph of the instruction should be replaced with the term “intellectual disability.” With this change the last sentence would provide as follows:


Examples of developmental disabilities include intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, and conditions closely related to intellectual disability or requiring treatment similar to that required for intellectually disabled individuals.

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