Competency to be Sentenced

The question of whether an individual is competent to be sentenced hinges on the broader question “What is competence?” In general, competence is defined within the legal arena as the mental ability to play an active role in legal proceedings. Competence to be sentenced is a specific form of legal competence that addresses an individual's ability to participate in the sentencing stage of trial and to both understand and appreciate the ramifications of the sentence that is imposed. The term competence to be sentenced has been used interchangeably with competence to be executed, but the former expression is more inclusive than the latter. Psychologists assist the courts by providing evaluations of competency to be sentenced, although there are minimal assessment guidelines and no accepted measures ...

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