Supreme Court Case: Dusky V. United States

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On December 16th, 2010, deputies responded to a reported disturbance in St. Augustine, Florida. A woman had called and reported that she had gotten into an argument with her roommate Lawrence Dean O’Bryan, who she described as intoxicated. The woman told the dispatcher she had locked herself into her room and started receiving text messages from O’Bryan asking her to come out. She then reported that she thought she heard O 'Bryan loading one of his many firearms.
As the deputies attempted to help the woman and her daughter leave the house, O’Bryan walked up near the home’s front door and fired at the three sheriff’s deputies. O 'Bryan was then shot by one of the officers and was taken to the hospital. The deputies and O 'Bryan all
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About thirty percent of defendants are found incompetent to stand trial every year (Gay, J. G., Ragatz, L., & Vitacco, M., 2015). The standard for competency was set by the supreme court case Dusky v United States. Dusky v. United States was a supreme court case in which the defendant, Dusky, challenged the ruling in his original case that he was competent to stand trial despite an expert testifying he was not competent. The court overturned his conviction stating that the "record in this case does not sufficiently support the findings of competency to stand trial". The court then ordered a new evaluation, as well as a new trial if Dusky was once again found competent. According to the court, in order to be deemed competent to stand trial, a defendant must understand the charges against them, understand how a court operates, and must be able to aid his or her attorneys (Dusky v. United States 362 U.S. 402, …show more content…
Ultimately, in March 2011, a judge found O’Bryan incompetent to stand trial and ordered him into the custody of the Department of Children and Families until he could be restored to competency (Keever, 2016). What methods were used to try and restore O 'Bryan to competency were not all completely publicized. However, we can speculate on what action was taken. Restoration treatment for the mentally ill usually included antipsychotic medication. This medication is only given unwillingly in cases where the patient is considered dangerous (Mueller, C., & Wylie, A. M., 2007). This was initially ruled in the case Sell v. United States. The court ruled that medication should only be given if, the medical professionals believe that the patient will not improve without them and that the medication will not have significant side effects that will interfere with the defendant 's ability to have a fair trial (Sell v. United States 539 U.S. 166, 2003). The defendant in this case, O 'Bryan, was said to have been cooperative with treatment and his attorney has said that he has willingly taken his medication (Keever, 2016). People who are initially found incompetent to stand trial are often found to be incompetent in future rulings (Gay, J. G., Ragatz, L., & Vitacco, M., 2015). The defendant in this case was not an

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