Monday, October 25, 2010

Attempt at restoration-to-competence for an Atkins death penalty case--Floyd Brown story

The following information regarding the capital case of Floyd Brown has been sitting in my "to post" inbox for months. I am posting it now as an FYI post...without much in the way of comment. Thanks again to Kevin Foley, a regular guest blogger for ICDP, for bringing the case and related materials to the attention of the ICDP blog.

Floyd Brown is an individual from North Carolina with /MRID who languished in state custody for 14 years "awaiting" doctors' efforts to render him competent to stand trial, and once deemed competent, his trial on murder charges. The story was partially detailed in a story in the Charlotte Observer.

The case highlights the issue of whether someone who is not competent to stand trial due to significant cognitive disabilities can ever be made competent through restoration-of-competency programs. I am not aware of any empirical research that has addressed restoration-of-competency programs with individuals with MR/ID. If any readers are aware of any such literature, please let the blogmaster know.

For those who want additional facts that were not reported by the newspaper a copy of a complaint filed by Brown's guardian can be found by clicking here. The complaint notes that Brown consistently obtained IQ scores in the mid-50's or less (para. 11) and while in school he was in Trainable MR (TMR) classes (para. 13). He was found to be not competent to stand trial on misdemeanor charges in 1991. (para. 206). He was found to be ID and exempt from the death penalty under Atkins. (para. 83)

In June, the states insurance company filed a suit in federal court hoping to have the court say the insurer is not responsible under its policies.

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