Competency to Stand Trial

  • Seymour L. Halleck
Part of the Critical Issues in Psychiatry book series (CIPS)


While the insanity defense has preoccupied attorneys, psychiatrists, and other scholars, the issue of incompetency to stand trial is actually of greater significance insofar as it affects many more individuals and raises just as many moral problems. More than a hundred times as many defendants are found incompetent to stand trial (and are sent to institutions for the criminally insane without having been convicted) than are acquitted on grounds of insanity.1 The incompetency plea can be invoked by any of the participants in the criminal proceeding—the defense, the prosecution, or the court. It can be invoked at any point in the trial, and even after the defendant has already been found guilty he may still be found incompetent to be sentenced.


Criminal Justice System Defense Attorney Plea Bargaining Civil Commitment Insanity Defense 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Seymour L. Halleck
    • 1
  1. 1.University of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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