Medina V California Essay

532 words - 2 pages

Medina v. California (1992)The Area of Law that pertains to this case is Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution. The Due Process Clause permits a state to require that a defendant claiming incompetence to stand prove it through supporting evidence.The two parties involved in this case were the State of California and Teofilo Medina Jr. Medina is on trial for first degree murder.Previous decisions, such as Pate v. Robinson, Mathews v. Eldridge, and Leland v. Oregon, had an effect on the Medina case.In 1984, Teofilo Medina Jr. stole a gun from a pawnshop in Santa Ana, California. Afterwards, he robbed two gas stations, a drive-in dairy, and a market. In the process of doing so, he had murdered three employees of those establishments. Before trial, the defense's counsel moved for a competency hearing on the ground that they were unsure whether the defendant was able to participate in the criminal proceedings against him. The motion was granted and six days later they had concluded that Medina was competent. He moved to withdraw his insanity plea, and the trial court granted the motion. Two days later, however, petitioner moved to reinstate his insanity plea. A sanity hearing was held, and the jury found that petitioner was sane at the time of the offenses.The lower courts found Medina guilty of all three murder counts despite his pleas for incompetence. The California Supreme Court upheld the decision.This case was controversial due to the Fourth Amendment. The state had used the Mathews balancing test to determine the validity of the state's procedural rulings, which violated the amendment.The outcome of the case was 7-2, in favor of the State of California.Justice Kennedy...

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