Court Observation and Summary: Psychological Question on Fitness to Stand Trial


Added on  2023-06-03

12 Pages3073 Words112 Views
Court Observation and Summary

Court Observation And Summary
Court Observation Assignment
You should fill in and submit this template via Turnitin on Moodle by Sunday 7th October
11.59pm (Week 10).
Surname Student Number
First Name/s Word Count
Psychological Question
1. What psychological question have you chosen to address?
Refer to the assignment sheet on Moodle for the list of psychological questions.
Question 7- Mental Health: How accurately can we determine if someone is fit to stand
2. Briefly explain how this question is relevant to the case you described in Part 2:
Observation & Summary.
The issue of mental illness is taken into consideration during the trial. This state is
considered so that a determination of whether the response being given by suspect,
witness or even the plaint makes sense. Psychiatrists are tasked with testing whether one
is sane or not. In some cases, an accused can raise a defense that he or she is not in the
right state of mind. This can also be raised by a judge after noting that the responses

Court Observation And Summary
being given do not make sense at all. As such, one has to accurately consider the accused
state of mind and how mentally fit one is, to stand trial.
Journal Article 1
3. Provide the reference for the journal article in APA Style.
E.g., Kemp, R. I., Towell, N. A., & Pike, G. E. (1997). When seeing should not be
believing: Photographs, credit cards, and fraud. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 11,
Hoge, S. K. (2016). Competence to stand trial: An overview. Indian journal of
psychiatry, 58(Supplementary 2), S187.
4. Summarise the article. You may use subheadings to answer the following:
Aims of the study
The study mainly aimed at determining the importance of psychological competence for
one to stand trial. Hoge states that a defendant’s psychological competence is assessed
so that the capacity for him or her to stand trial is determined. This is a common practice
done across the globe through forensic evaluations. He further states that in 10% to 15%
of the cases presented in court, defense attorneys usually have doubts about the mental
capacity of defendants. As such, over 60,000 defendants are usually referred to
professional psychiatrists so that pre-trial assessments are done leading to the
determination for competency to stand the trial before them, (Chrisholm, Tulich &
Blagg, 2017, 85). The main aim in this study entailed the provision of an overview of

Court Observation And Summary
“competency to stand trial”, commonly referred to as ‘adjudicative competency.’
The methodology that was used
The research was carried out using a qualitative approach. Here, the researcher mainly
relied on past literature, court observations, carried out interviews on psychiatrists,
defense lawyers and also relied on statutes and court cases. Statutes and decided court
cases are good platforms for collecting information pertaining to the accuracy of one’s
mental health condition during the trial. Also, defense attorneys and judges have a first-
hand experience on how the state of mind affects a trial process, (Corrigan, 2018, 34).
Results of the study
From the study, Hoge points out that there are certain legal requirements that have to
be met. These requirements were summarised by Richard Bonnie when examining
adjudicative competency. As such, these requirements are essential for constructing
specific purposes mainly; preservation of the dignity of the criminal processes, reduction
of risks aligned to erroneous convictions and finally protection of the decision making
autonomy that defendants have, (Freckelton & Keyzer, 2017, 771).
In terms of getting accuracy, the author states that forensic evaluations should be made
so that defendants are found to be mentally fine or not. One method of achieving this is
when defense counsels request for assessments to be made. Self-incrimination should
be avoided during this stage despite the privilege of doing assessment being under
protection, (Freckelton, 2017, 8). It is his finding too that defendants must have decision
competency. This entails the ability to make essential decisions that mainly come up
during adjudication. These include taking of the plea, plea agreements, and defense

End of preview

Want to access all the pages? Upload your documents or become a member.

Related Documents

Psychology and Law: Competency of Child Witnesses in Criminal Court