AuthorRaifman, Lawrence Jack
KeywordsInsanity (Law) -- Arizona -- Pima County.
Mental health laws -- Arizona -- Pima County.
Forensic psychiatry -- Arizona -- Pima County.
Committee ChairHohmann, George
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThis dissertation study focused upon four stages in the forensic evaluation process, including its impact upon judicial decisions. A group of defendants referred for a pretrial forensic evaluation between October, 1974 and October, 1976 was compared with defendants not referred for evaluation. The results indicated that (1) the defendants referred for forensic evaluation were very similar to those defendants not referred for pretrial examination except that the diverted population was more frequently in custody, remained in custody for a longer time, and remained in the criminal justice system awaiting disposition for a longer time. (2) Factors associated with a recommendation of incompetency and/or insanity included the diagnosis, a poor prognosis, a previous competency evaluation, and past history of hospitalization. (3) Generally forensic competency recommendations were followed by the courts; however, judges were more willing to overrule experts' recommendations of incompetence than competence. When experts agreed the defendent was sane at the pretrial the court followed the recommendation; 1 defendant out of 95 was found insane. When the experts' agreed the defendant was insane at the pretrial evaluation, the defendant was found insane at time of adjudication only 13.5%, though in over 40% of the cases the charges against the defendant were dismissed; still, in nearly half the cases the defendant was found guilty of the crime. (4) The defendants referred and considered competent by the experts were later found guilty and sentenced to prison time more often than defendants who either were not evaluated or considered incompetent by the experts. These diverted but competent defendants received credit less often for time served while in custody than the nonevaluated defendants. Defendants who were considered incompetent by the experts were later less often found guilty, and seldomly sentenced to prison. For these defendants there was a greater likelihood that the criminal charges would be dismissed. However, these defendants were subsequently committed to a mental hospital, and therefore did not "beat their raps." Finally, the greatest likelihood for a not guilty by reason of insanity verdict occurred when previously the experts disagreed as to the competence of the defendant to stand trial.