- Competence to stand trial demands that a defendant understands the purpose and nature of the legal proceedings against him and posses the ability to cooperate effectively with counsel in his defense. In order to understand the proceedings, a defendant must be in a position to comprehend the charges pressed against him. In addition, he must show some level of understanding of the courtroom procedures and the roles of the participants in the proceeding. A defendant must be able to plan a legal strategy, to recall and relate relevant events and facts, including actions and motives at the time of the offense, and posses the ability to testify on his behalf and challenge witnesses (Stafford, & Wygant, 2005). Competency hearings help in determining whether a mental defect, disorder, or impairment prevents this cooperation and understanding.
Competence hearing is a hearing held in state probate court with the aim of determining if a person is able to handle their own affairs (Stafford, & Wygant, 2005). Competence hearing can help the court to hear, digest, and accept evidence that the person has a mental illness and that the person cannot understand the nature of his actions and therefore lacks the capacity to offer meaningful informed choices during a court hearing, and by the virtue of this, need assistance for this purpose. Defendants should not be held without their consent when they have not been convicted of a crime. Competency hearing helps determine if the accused participated in the crime when they were fully aware of their actions. An accused person must meet certain requirements for competency in order to enable them aid in their defense.
- This article is relevant to me because I am in the process of working on the methods and results section of my dissertation. According to the article, many PhD candidates fail to complete their dissertations and remain all-but-the-dissertation students. This is the point when most students will seek help from their peers, mentors, university assistance, and even Google. The information presented in this article is essential in helping PhD candidates understand the psychology of the dissertation in order to help overcome obstacles experienced by many students who remain ABD for the rest of their life. As often the case, such students portray a bad image of their departments and sponsors or even parents. The article also informs on the many facets of the dissertation requirements. Additionally, the article explores some of the factors that influences the likelihood of a candidate to complete their dissertation. Such aspects would help me ensure that I complete my dissertation on time.
Blum, L. D. (2010). The “all-but-the-dissertation” student and the psychology of the doctoral dissertation. Journal of College Student Psychotherapy, 24(2), 74-85. doi:10.1080/8756822090355855
Stafford, K. P., & Wygant, D. B. (2005). The Role of Competency to Stand Trial in Mental Health Courts. Behavioral Sciences & The Law, 23(2), 245-258. doi:10.1002/bsl.649