Thursday, October 4, 2007

New Article Regarding Competency to Be Executed

Here's an abstract from a new article that appears in Psychiatric Services, a journal of the American Psychiatric Association:

"Law & Psychiatry: Death Row Delusions: When Is a Prisoner Competent to Be Executed?"
Paul S. Appelbaum, M.D.

This column examines a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Panetti v.Quarterman, which embraced a broader view of what makes death row prisoners incompetent to be executed. Although the defendant understood that he was to be executed and the state's purported reason for seeking his death--two criteria suggested by the Court's 1986 decision in Ford v. Wainwright--he suffered from a fixed delusion about the actual reason for his death. The Court indicated that competent prisoners must have a "rational understanding"of the reason that a death penalty is being imposed but declined to define a clear standard.

You can purchase the article for $15 online at:
American Psychiatric Association Psychiatr Serv 58:1258-1260, October 2007

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