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Determining a Criminal Defendant’s Competency to Proceed With an Extradition Hearing

The journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law | 14 Jun 2015

J Piel, MJ Finkle, M Giske and GB Leong
When a criminal defendant flees from one state (often referred to as the requesting state) to another (often referred to as the asylum state), the requesting state can demand that the asylum state return the defendant through a process called extradition. Only a handful of states have considered a fugitive’s right to be competent to proceed with an extradition hearing. Those states fall into three categories. Some states apply the same standard as in criminal trial competency cases. Others apply a more limited competency standard. Two have found that a fugitive has no right to be competent to proceed in an extradition hearing. The particular legal test adopted affects the nature and scope of the competency evaluation conducted by the psychiatrist or psychologist in the extradition hearing. In addition, we are not aware of any state that has considered what happens to the fugitive if he is ultimately found not competent to proceed. Legislation, either state by state or through amendments to the Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, can provide the legal and psychiatric communities with guidance in assessing competency initially and in taking appropriate steps if the fugitive is ultimately found not competent.
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Crime, Criminal law, Legal terms, Mental health professional, Trial, United States Marshals Service, United States Constitution, Kenneth L. Curtis
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