Forensic Psychology Case Study Competency to Stand Trial

Competency to Stand Trial Affiliation Competency to Stand Trial This article describes a case study analyzed by of forensic psychology. It involves a man, Mr. Alkey’s, charged for felony. that is maliciously beating up and harming a woman, whose name goes by Miss Fee Male. The issue in this case is to determine whether Mr. Alkey is competent to stand trial. Several factors are to be considered when carrying out this task. They include analysis of background information of Mr. Alkey that is related to his mind health status. Another issue to be considered will be examination of his mental status. diagnosis and explanation of the results, the saneness of his mind the ability to store information in his memory and capability to remember it. Finally yet importantly, the issue to be described will be whether he understands the legal situation that he has been faced with.
According to his previous history. he dropped out of school at the sixth or seventh grade due a head injury. Since then, he had been in and out of the State Hospital where he had been committed due to displaying suicidal gestures and thoughts. This lead to suspicion of having a disorder in his brain, hence tests were done to diagnose any disorder. The results of the results showed several disorders. namely schizoaffective disorder, an episodic alcohol abuse, mixed organic brain syndrome, mild mental retardation and an antisocial personality disorder. These diagnoses were collaborated by several symptoms or signs which included brain damage which came about because of a head injury which he suffered earlier during childhood. Mood swings, subnormal intelligence, thought disorder, antisocial traits, and alcohol abuse are other signs that supported the diagnosis results. After this diagnosis, he was put on medication and followed by the County Medical Services hence he has not needed any further hospitalization. Even though they have not remained in contact with him since he went to jail, the jail nurse has been seeing him regularly and monitoring his medication. This proves that nothing has changed since he was incarcerated.
His mental status examination went well and revealed some issues that were of concern to this case. Some of the signs it showed included depression, poor memory for recent events as he could mention one out of three unrelated objects after five minutes after review. However, his immediate recall was good as he could repeat a five digit series. Other suspicious signs were moments of anxiety and sleepless nights. He explained how his nerves got bad at times. he could not stand noise and could suffer severe headaches. During such times he would ‘fly off’ and do things that he would later regret. He also gets depressed to a point that he could commit suicide which can be supported by the fact that he has had two previous known suicide attempts. He has a poor reasoning as well as his judgment. His understanding of the legal situation is good as he describes various characteristics of the court well and confidently according to his state of mind. This includes defining the roles of the different attorneys and the vocabularies used in court.
The Criminal Justice Mental Health Standards state that a defendant’s current mental competence is the most essential issue in the criminal mental health field during judicial processes (Winick &amp. Bruce, 1995). I would not find him competent to stand trial. This is based on the mental history of Mr. Alkey that shows some mentality disorders. Although he is under medication, which partially eliminates their effects, he still has current mental incompetence. An example is the loss of memory of recent events, lack of proper reasoning, and the poor judgment.
The determinant to stand trial at a court of law is establishing whether the defendant is able to understand the charges against him or her and to communicate effectively to the jury (Roesch, Zaph, Golding, &amp. Skeem, 1999). The implication of this law according to the case at hand is that Mr. Alkey is not competent as his current mental status hinders effective communication. This is because he lacks proper reasoning and judgment.
Roesch, R., Zaph, P. A., Golding, S. L., &amp. Skeem, J. L. (1999). Defining and Assessing Competency to Stand Trial. In Handbook of Forensic Psychology (p. 327). Wiley Publishers.
Winick, &amp. Bruce, J. (1995). The side effects of incompetency labeling and the implications for mental health law. Psychology, Public Policy &amp. Law , 6-42.