Professors Heather Ellis Cucolo, Deborah Dorfman and Keri Gould
This course will explore in depth the relationship between mental disability and the criminal trial process. Topics to be discussed will include all aspects of the criminal incompetency status (including trial, plea, counsel waiver and other pre-trial, trial and post-trial stages); the insanity defense; institutionalization and release policies that govern the cases of persons found permanently incompetent to stand trial and those found not guilty by reason of insanity; the right of forensic patients to refuse antipsychotic medications; the role of mental disability evidence in other aspects of criminal trial and pre-trial proceedings (including confessions and privilege against self-incrimination matters); sentencing, the death penalty (including issues involving mitigation, predictions of future dangerousness, executability of persons with mental retardation, and competency to be executed); and questions as to the effectiveness of counsel in cases involving mentally disabled defendants. Class videos will include a simulated trial of a case involving a criminal defendant with a mental disability. For master’s degree and certificate students, Survey of Mental Disability Law is a pre-requisite or co-requisite.
This is a predominately on-line course, requiring
students to participate in a weekly chat room, discussion board, and two,
day-long weekend live seminars at New York Law School. The grade is based
on chat room, discussion board and live seminar participation, a midterm
paper, and a take-home final. For master’s degree and certificate
students, Survey of Mental Disability Law is a pre-requisite or