Assessing Competency - Essay

Topics: Psychosis, Psychology, Violence Pages: 4 (1263 words) Published: May 21, 2011
Unit 9 Final Project
Assessing Competency

Jennifer Spencer
Professor Johnson
April 5, 2011

The information provided in the scenario was actually very detailed; however it did not cover everything. There are a few things I would like to know about the suspect. One of the things discussed were his mental issues he has been suffering for quite some time. What the scenario does not specify is what is determined to be the cause of his illness. The scenario also mentions that he had been taking anti psychosis medicines however it does not say for how long or what kind. As a psychologist it would be crucial for me to find this information out. The reason for this would be that if a patient is taking anti psychosis medicine for a period of time and abruptly stops taking them it could cause the patient to actually go into a psychotic state of mind. The scenario states that the patient was not taking the medicine at the time of the murder. As a psychologist I would want to find out how long he was taking them prior to the murder and when did he stop taking the medicine before the murders occurred. As this persons psychologist in order to completely give them a full review and determine with the best of judgment how competent this person is I would also need to obtain all of the patients mental health records, what type of treatment has been given in the past, rather it was effective or ineffective, what the patients state of mind was at the time of the hospitalization, thus being pre and post functioning of the patient. The most important thing of all when assessing competency in this particular type of case is rather or not the patient understands the full consequences of their actions. In order for a person to be legally declared incompetent to stand trial they must be evaluated and found to not understand the difference between right from wrong. It is morally and legally unethical to prosecute someone who does not understand what they are being...
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