Although the standard for competency to be executed is similar to that of competence to receive sentencing, constitutional issues require a particularly cautious, ethical and apolitical forensic evaluation.
The examination of competency to be executed by a forensic psychiatrist always requires a review of the inmate’s history on death row. In an environment so barren, psychosis can be caused or worsened. Careful monitoring and observations from different staff may yield crucial information about whether a condition truly deteriorated, whether delusions truly took hold, or whether an inmate “became ill” on cue.
The passions and biases of informants are even more sensitive with the celebrated inmate, so the forensic psychiatrist examiner, already accounting for his or her own bias, must assess the biases of any source. When a life is on the line, it is The Forensic Panel’s peer reviewed consultation that will ensure fairness, integrity and a meticulous examination of the case at hand.