Mental Responsibility and Competency to Stand Trial

Introduction

courtmartialdefenselawyers10.57.51 2Mental Responsibility

Mental responsibility is the criminal culpability of the defendant based on his or her mental state at the time of the offense and includes the “insanity defense” and the defense of “partial mental responsibility.”

Competency to Stand Trial

Competency to stand trial refers to the present ability of the defendant to stand trial. An accused may not be tried unless mentally competent. Godinez v. Moran, 509 U.S 389, 396 (1993). To try a mentally incompetent accused is a violation of due process. Medina v. California, 505 437, 453 (1992).

Sanity Boards

Provision under Rule for Courts-Martial (RCM) 706 governing the process inquiring into the mental capacity or mental responsibility of an accused.