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Criminal Trials and Mental Disorders$
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Thomas Hafemeister

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479804856

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479804856.001.0001

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Procedural Aspects of Competence to Stand Trial Determinations

Procedural Aspects of Competence to Stand Trial Determinations

(p.127) 5 Procedural Aspects of Competence to Stand Trial Determinations
Criminal Trials and Mental Disorders

Thomas L. Hafemeister

NYU Press

Chapter 5 continues the discussion of CST issues, but focuses on the procedural aspects of these determinations, an oftentimes overlooked but key component as the presence or absence of procedural hoops can be outcome-determinative. Traditionally, CST hearings were handled informally by the presiding trial judge with few procedural checks in place, affording these judges considerable discretion in reaching their decision. As unease with this arrangement emerged, procedures were put in place by state legislatures to guide and shape the decision-making process, although some of these procedures have been challenged as unlawfully skewing the results. In response, the Supreme Court has issued a pair of rulings that provide a framework for examining these procedures, although a range of potential challenges remain unaddressed. In addition, as this chapter concludes the text’s examination of the substantive standards and procedural requirements governing CST hearings, an overview is provided of what forensic evaluators should address in their assessments, reports, and testimony regarding defendants’ CST, as well as a series of factors that can complicate these determinations.

Keywords:   CST procedures, informal vs formal, assessments, reports, testimony, complicating factors, Medina v California, Cooper v Oklahoma

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