Friday, December 4, 2009

Key questions in mental competency issue

From Dallas Morning News

Key questions in mental competency issue

If a judge approves the Army's request for a mental responsibility evaluation, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan's sanity will be evaluated by a board that includes a physician or clinical psychologist. The board must decide four questions:

• Was the gunman suffering from "a severe mental disease or defect" at the time of the crime?

• What is the clinical psychiatric diagnosis?

• Did the mental illness make the accused unable to understand the "wrongfulness of his or her conduct?"

• Does the mental illness prevent the defendant from assisting defense lawyers?

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