Written Assignment 5

Dr. Steven Roberts has been appointed by the courts to conduct a competency to stand trial (CST)
evaluation on a 17-year-old male defendant accused of sexual assault and battery. The defendant is a
legal resident residing in the United States and is originally from a coastal village in Chile and speaks his
native language, Mapudungun, and appears to understand some Spanish. However, he can also
understand and speak rudimentary English. Dr. Roberts works in Appalachia in West Virginia. He is only
able to locate someone who can speak Spanish, the national language of Chile; however, this individual
is not a professional translator and the county does not have the financial resources to contract with a
professional translator.
The CST evaluation was requested by the defendant’s public defender due to her concerns that the
defendant appears to have a low IQ and also appears to have “paranoid ideas.”
Dr. Roberts needs to weigh his options on how best to conduct the CST evaluation. He cannot simply
refuse to conduct the evaluation due to the language barrier. The prosecutor has already indicated that
the defendant appears to speak and understand English sufficiently to proceed with the trial. The
pertinent questions are issues related to the Dusky standard. The defendant’s ability to meet this
standard would be influenced by a low IQ and/or paranoid delusions. Due to the severity of the charges, a
finding of incompetence would result in civil commitment until competency is reached. Based on the
nature of the assault, the charge carries a minimum sentence of ten to fifteen years.
Written Exercise Questions:
1. How should Dr. Roberts proceed with the evaluation?
2. What, if any, testing should be conducted?
3. Should he use an individual who speaks Spanish to assist with the evaluation?
4. What are the ethical issues faced by Dr. Roberts?
5. How should he resolve these ethical dilemmas?
Submit your paper to the Assignment box and attach your paper in a post to the Written Exercise 5
Discussion Board no later than Saturday 11:59 PM EST/EDT. (This Assignment box is linked to
To complete this assignment, you will respond logically to at least three of your classmates’ papers. Each
of your responses is to be at least 100 words in length and can be based solely on your opinion. Refer to
the syllabus for additional guidance. You must post your responses no later than Sunday 11:59 PM

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