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“Re-Evaluating Competence To Stand Trial”, David Collins Jan 2018

“Re-Evaluating Competence To Stand Trial”, David Collins

Duke Law Master of Judicial Studies Theses

The current federal law governing a defendant’s competence to stand trial is substantially contained in 18 U.S.C. § 4241 that can be traced to a 1949 statute and, in Dusky v. United States, a three paragraph opinion of the Supreme Court, delivered in 1960. The federal statute was initially drafted by a committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States. Thus, material aspects of the federal tests for assessing a defendant’s competence to stand trial were composed by federal judges.

This paper explains why the current federal law concerning a defendant’s competence to stand trial ...


Culpability And Modern Crime, Samuel W. Buell Jan 2015

Culpability And Modern Crime, Samuel W. Buell

Faculty Scholarship

Criminal law has developed to prohibit new forms of intrusion on the autonomy and mental processes of others. Examples include modern understandings of fraud, extortion, and bribery, which pivot on the concepts of deception, coercion, and improper influence. Sometimes core offenses develop to include similar concepts, such as when reforms in the law of sexual assault make consent almost exclusively material. Many of these projects are laudable. But progressive programs in substantive criminal law can raise difficult problems of culpability. Modern iterations of criminal offenses often draw lines using concepts involving relative mental states among persons whose conduct is embedded ...