Tag Archives: Competency of Defendant


Judge’s Duty to Hold Competency Hearing
June 30th, 2020

Habeas relief granted, vacating defendant’s NGI commitment because the trial court failed to hold a competency hearing at the time of his trial.  Defendant had initially been found incompetent but was restored to competency after being housed in the state hospital before trial, based on a report describing his condition as “marginal”, while acknowledging that […]


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Competency and Faretta Self Representation
June 20th, 2020

In In re Sims (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 195 the defendant, an attorney with a pre-existing history of mental illness, was convicted of murdering her husband.  Earlier in the proceedings, a doubt was declared about her competency, but the trial court found her competent and later allowed her to proceed in pro per.  During the trial, […]


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Competency: (1) No Specific Medical Diagnosis Required (2) Ability to Both Understand Nature of Proceedings and Assist Counsel Is Required
June 10th, 2020

Under both the federal due process clause as interpreted by Dusky v. United States (1960) 362 U.S. 40, and Penal Code section 1367, a finding of incompetency does “not require a specific medical diagnosis drawn from the current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, [or] that the defendant’s mental disorder fit […]


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