Mental Disability and Criminal Law Seminar

Course Description

This offering examines issues that arise in criminal cases involving persons with mental disability. Topic areas include: mental non-responsibility, criminal competencies, dispositional issues (including the death penalty), and expert witness consultation. Attention also will be paid to related issues in civil commitment. Course materials include not only cases and legal commentary, but also readings in psychiatry, psychology, and forensic mental health. Some class sessions will feature live case presentations hosted on-line by the staff of the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center and other state and local facilities that provide evaluations and treatment of persons with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities. Course requirements include (1) preparing a research paper on some pre-approved topic in mental disability and criminal law and (2) actively participating in class discussions. Students may also have an opportunity to participate in a mock trial of the sanity phase of a criminal case. The seminar paper may be used to satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement. Students may take both this offering and Mental Disability Law Seminar and/or Course.

Current and Previous Instructors

Key to Codes in Course Descriptions

P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course