a reply to: CharlieSpeirs
Well, my reading of the section of the document you linked to, which deals with Unfit to Plead circumstances, appears to suggest that in the event of
your friend being incapable of representing him , or herself, and at the same time not being able to select and instruct a legal professional to
operate on their behalf, a person can point out that they are Unfit to Plead, but will have to provide some sort of medical evidence that they are not
in possession of the entire contents of their collection of marbles, so to speak.
In short, if one is of unsound mind, one can make the judge or ejudicating body aware of that, and they may require to have one examined, or gain
access to ones records of treatment and pre-existing mental conditions. This is different from being a plea of Diminished Responsibility of course,
because there is no admission of guilt implied in suggesting that one is not fit to be involved in ones own defense in court, and besides, Diminished
Responsiblity (which can only be used as a defense in a murder case anyway, and is therefore moot) is a DEFENSE not a statement of inability to
interact with the proceedings which are afoot.
The Unfit to Plead route seems like a good option, if there are no other options on the table. It is a shame that there are so few hours remaining
to you, and to your friend, to deal with the annoyance of figuring out what paperwork, medical history wise, is required. Perhaps, before going to
court, it might be wise to get some documentation from your friends doctor, or psychologist, therapist, or case worker if they have any of those. The
documentation will probably need to detail the conditions your friend suffers from, and contain a signed statement to the effect that the professional
in question believes that your friend is not capable of entering a plea.
That might help.
Other than that, I know not what else to say! I wish we had more time to poke around some case studies, and find out more about how these Unfit to
Plead instances play out in court, and what measures a judge tends to apply or require in order to ensure that the person who calls for it, is
actually in such a state as to need that sort of coverage.
I wish you and your friend the very best of luck. May the sails of liberty billow full on a strong breeze!
edit on 19-2-2015 by TrueBrit because: Spelling error removed.