Bennett, A. D. (2006). The measurement of adjudicative competence: A comparison of three types of competencies in a sample of individuals with mental retardation. US: ProQuest Information & Learning. 2006-99014-226

Adjudicative competence is an umbrella term that encompasses all forms of competency related to the criminal justice system (e.g., competence to stand trial, competence to plead guilty, and competence to waive Miranda rights). In 1993, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Godinez v. Moran that the standard for adjudicative competence was a unitary one, contradicting previous legal and scholarly consensus on the issue of competency as context-specific. According to this standard, an individual who is deemed competent in one domain is assumed to be competent throughout all of the domains that fall under the umbrella of adjudicative competence. Mental retardation presents special issues for those working within the criminal justice system, as well as for the mentally retarded individuals involved in this system. Failure to correctly identify these individuals can have substantial consequences. The misidentification of mentally retarded individuals can result in a loss of liberty and the violation of a right to a fair trial. Despite these facts, a dearth of research and information exists with regard to the issue of competence to stand trial for individuals with MR. One of the primary goals of the present study is to investigate whether or not differences exist in the abilities required for competence for three specific types of competencies (competence to stand trial, competence to plead guilty, and competence to waive Miranda rights). Participants in the present study were 60 males who had been remanded to the Eastern Louisiana Mental Health System, Forensic Division for competency restoration. For purposes of this research, participants were categorized into three competence groups: an initially incompetent, but restored to competency group, a not competent, but considered to be restorable group, and a not competent and considered to be not restorable group. The performance of the participants between and across four measures of adjudicative competence, the CAST-MR, MacCAT-CA, the CPG, and Grisso's Assessing Understanding and Appreciation of Miranda Rights, were compared. Participants performed significantly better on the CAST-MR and the CPG, than on the MacCAT-CA and Grisso's Miranda measures. In addition, differences in performance between the three competence groups were found. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)

(Editor's note: Accuracy rates can be calculated. The false positive rate was 35% for the CAST-MR & 100% for the MacCAT-CA. The false negative rate was 10% for the CAST-MR.)

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