From Casetext: Smarter Legal Research

Dusky v. United States

U.S.
Apr 18, 1960
362 U.S. 402 (1960)

Summary

holding that the standard for competence to stand trial is whether the defendant has "sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding" and has "a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him."

Summary of this case from Gomez-Sanchez v. Sessions

Opinion

ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE EIGHTH CIRCUIT.

No. 504, Misc.

Decided April 18, 1960.

Certiorari granted.

Since the record in this case does not sufficiently support the findings of petitioner's competency to stand trial, the judgment affirming his conviction is reversed and the case is remanded to the District Court for a hearing to determine his present competency to stand trial, and for a new trial if he is found competent. Pp. 402-403.

271 F.2d 385, reversed.

James W. Benjamin for petitioner.

Solicitor General Rankin for the United States.


The motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis and the petition for a writ of certiorari are granted. Upon consideration of the entire record we agree with the Solicitor General that "the record in this case does not sufficiently support the findings of competency to stand trial," for to support those findings under 18 U.S.C. § 4244 the district judge "would need more information than this record presents." We also agree with the suggestion of the Solicitor General that it is not enough for the district judge to find that "the defendant [is] oriented to time and place and [has] some recollection of events," but that the "test must be whether he has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding — and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him."

In view of the doubts and ambiguities regarding the legal significance of the psychiatric testimony in this case and the resulting difficulties of retrospectively determining the petitioner's competency as of more than a year ago, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeals affirming the judgment of conviction, and remand the case to the District Court for a new hearing to ascertain petitioner's present competency to stand trial, and for a new trial if petitioner is found competent.

It is so ordered.


Summaries of

Dusky v. United States

U.S.
Apr 18, 1960
362 U.S. 402 (1960)

holding that the standard for competence to stand trial is whether the defendant has "sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding" and has "a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him."

Summary of this case from Gomez-Sanchez v. Sessions

holding that the proper test of competency to assist in one's defense is whether the defendant has "sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding"

Summary of this case from U.S. v. Friedman

holding that a person is competent to stand trial if he understands the proceedings and is able to assist counsel in his defense

Summary of this case from Howard v. Gittere

holding competency is a sufficient present ability to consult with a lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding, and with a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings

Summary of this case from Winslow v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corr.

holding that the standard for competence to stand trial is whether the defendant has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him

Summary of this case from U.S. v. Arenburg

holding that a defendant is competent if he has "sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding . . . a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him"

Summary of this case from Bisnett v. Kelly

holding that competence to stand trial depends on whether the defendant has rational and factual understanding of the proceedings and sufficient present rational ability to consult with counsel

Summary of this case from Commonwealth v. Blakeney

holding that the trial court must decide whether the defendant “has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding—and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him”

Summary of this case from Huggins v. State

holding that competence to stand trial depends on whether the defendant has rational and factual understanding of the proceedings and sufficient present rational ability to consult with counsel

Summary of this case from Commonwealth v. Blakeney

holding that the test of competency is "whether he [the defendant] has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding — and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him."

Summary of this case from Chapman v. Commonwealth

holding that the test of competency is "whether he [the defendant] has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding-and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him."

Summary of this case from Chapman v. Commonwealth

holding that the test of competency is "whether he [the defendant] has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding-and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him."

Summary of this case from Chapman v. Commonwealth

holding that the constitutional standard for competency to stand trial is whether the defendant has "sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding — and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him"

Summary of this case from J.K. v. State

holding that to determine whether a person is competent, the trial court must discern whether he has "sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding—and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him"

Summary of this case from Perez v. State

holding there was not enough evidence in record to support finding of competency, noting doubt and ambiguity regarding legal significance of psychiatric testimony in record

Summary of this case from State v. Bolden

holding petitioner had an intellectual understanding of the charges against him but his impaired sense of reality substantially undermined his judgment and prevented him from cooperating rationally with his lawyer

Summary of this case from State v. Hawkins

holding the test to determine competency is whether the defendant has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him.

Summary of this case from Hammon v. State

finding inadequate evidence on the record that a defendant was competent to stand trial

Summary of this case from Berg v. Foster

finding trial record insufficient to support a finding of competency and ordering a new trial

Summary of this case from Jiggetts v. Balt. City State Attorney Office

finding that the fact that the defendant is "oriented to time and place" and has "some recollection of events" is insufficient to establish competency to stand trial

Summary of this case from U.S. v. Rodriguez

concluding that a defendant is competent if he "has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding" and "has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him"

Summary of this case from Stewart v. Morgan

concluding no retrospective competency determination could be held "[i]n view of the doubts and ambiguities regarding the legal significance of the psychiatric testimony"

Summary of this case from McGregor v. Gibson

concluding that the only way to effectively correct an erroneous determination of competency to stand trial is to reverse the conviction and remand to the district court for a hearing as to competency and for a new trial if the accused should be found competent

Summary of this case from Pieniazek v. State

adopting the Solicitor General's suggested standard

Summary of this case from State v. Wilson

adopting the Solicitor General's suggested standard

Summary of this case from State v. Blackstock
Case details for

Dusky v. United States

Case Details

Full title:DUSKY v . UNITED STATES

Court:U.S.

Date published: Apr 18, 1960

Citations

362 U.S. 402 (1960)
80 S. Ct. 788

Citing Cases

United States v. Bennett

An assessment of competency requires the court to determine "whether [the defendant] has sufficient present…

People v. Blocker

' Obviously, psychiatric evidence based on examination six years after trial has very limited probative value…