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Lecture 7

Lecture 7.docx

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David Nussbaum

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Lecture 7-Oct 28 Fitness to Stand Trial Basic Idea: Fundamental Justice • people with mental disorders are cognitively (can't make good decisions) and emotionally impared (don't care about the results or what happened) • they may be unable to effectively participate in a legal defense • they may thereforre be found guilty even if they are innocent Legal Criteria 1. pressumption of fitness unless demonstrated otherwise 2. onus of proof (burden of proof) is on the party raising the issue (it is not always the defense that would want to prove that, most often, it is the judge...occasionally the crown)-in other words, whoever raises the issue has to prove it 3. level of proof for fitness is "balance of probabilities" (people's fitness can fluctuate with time e.g. depression-more depressed in the morning than after lunch)...that's why they didn't make the level "beyond a reasonable doubt"'s also possible to raise a reasonable doubt in almost every case Standards of Proof 1. Beyond a reasonable doubt 2. clear and convincing evvidence 3. preponderance of the evidence 4. balance of probabilities (51% or above likelihood) Canadian Legal Criteria for Fitness to Stand Trial: Taylor Criteria • comes from the Taylor case. Taylor was a lawyer, but suffered from schizophrenia...hadd a delusion that the judge and jury were against his client and that no matter what he did, his client would be convicted. Came back after recess naked, but covered in shaving cream • found to be fit to stand trial because: o 1. Unable on account of a mental disroder to: **has to be a mental disorder, ignorance of the law does not qualify  this is the first stepp that requires a mental health expertt  only a mental hhealth expert including psychologists can diagnose a mental disoreder, absent which ffitness is not an issue o 2. understood nature and object of the proceedings  he understood he was in court and what was happening  these relate to questions about the roles of the judge, crown, defense, wtinesses, ppolice, meaning of oath, to establish a finding of guilt or innocence  neeed to know what everyone does and how to interact o 3. understand possible consequences  jail/prison if gguilty  hospitalization if NCRMD (not criminally responsible on account of a mental disorder)  freedom, probation  diversion if applicable (minor crime with negligible risk foor future physical or pscyhological harm to society along with need an
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