Document Type

Article

Abstract

This article's thesis is that given the magnitude of the insanity defendant's fundamental constitutional liberties--his constitutional right to present and conduct his defense, his privilege against self-incrimination, his constitutional right to privacy and bodily integrity, and his common law right to give informed consent to medical treatment--the state's interest in assuring the defendant's competency must give way if he chooses to waive his right to be tried while competent. Most, if not all, of the purposes of the prohibition against trying an incompetent defendant can be met even if the defendant is tried without psychotropic medication as long as he is competent to consult with his counsel at some point before trial. After such consultation, the court must permit the insanity defendant to waive his right not to be tried while incompetent, so long as adequate procedural safeguards are provided.