Mental Health in Criminal Law
Spring 2014 • LAW 610 • Credits: 3
Instructor: Carrie Leonetti
Addresses mental-health issues that commonly arise in criminal prosecutions. Covers topics in criminal law and procedure relating to mental health, including: insanity and related defenses, competency, commitment, regulation of sex offenders, sentencing mitigation, access to psychiatric experts, addiction, and alternate dispositions. Focuses on the major psychoses and the psychiatric concepts of the sociopath, as well as substance-abuse issues and mental retardation. Explores the use of mental-health experts in criminal proceedings, mental disability, incompetency to stand trial, incompetent pretrial detainees, the involuntary administration of antipsychotic medication, and mental-health issues in death-penalty cases, including the propriety of psychiatric predictions of violent behavior and the significance of risk-assessment instruments and the role of mental-health issues in death-sentence mitigation hearings. Prerequisite: Criminal Adjudication. Criminal Investigation and Evidence are strongly recommended.