1. bestmilitarydefenseucmjdefenselawyer251The real issue is whether the accused has sufficient present ability to consult with hislawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and whether he has rational as well as factual understanding of the proceeding against him. It is not enough that he is oriented to time and place and has some recollection of events. United States v. Proctor , 37 M.J. 330, 336 (C.M.A. 1993) (quoting Dusky v. United States , 362 U.S. 402 (1960) (per curiam)).
  2. “The question is whether the accused is possessed of sufficient mental power, andhas such understanding of his situation, such coherency of ideas, control of his mental facilities, and the requisite power of memory, as will enable him to testify in his own behalf, if he so desires, and otherwise to properly and intelligently aid his counsel in making a rational defense.” United States v. Lee , 22 M.J. 767, 769 (A.F.C.M.R. 1986).
  3. United States v. Schlarb , 46 M.J. 708 (N-M. Ct. Crim. App. 1997). The accused didnot establish a lack of mental capacity to stand trial where she testified clearly and at length on four occasions, showing a clear understanding of the proceedings.
  4. Indiana v. Edwards , 554 U.S. 164 (2008). The Constitution permits judges to takerealistic account of the particular defendant’s mental capacities by asking whether a defendant who seeks to conduct his own defense at trial is mentally competent to do so. Therefore, a defendant who is mentally competent to stand trial may still be denied the right to represent themselves, depending on the vagaries of the mental disease or illness.
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