Medina V California Case Brief Essay

645 words - 3 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 ...view middle of the document...

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 wrote the majority opinion which stated that the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause allows a state to enact procedures to determine one's competency for trial. The Supreme Court also determined that the Due Process Clause permits a state to require a defendant who alleges incompetence to stand trial to bear the burden of proving so by presenting evidence.Justice Blackmun delivered the minority opinion which stated that Teofilo Medina, Jr. may have been mentally incompetent when the State of California convicted him and gave him the death sentence. The Due Process Clause forbids the trial and conviction of persons incapable of defending themselves, thus the right of a criminal defendant to be tried only if competent is "fundamental to an adversary system of justice."I agree with the decision upheld by the Supreme Court. Medina committed numerous acts of violence while he was sane. He is a threat to society and all the people around him. Incompetence is brought up as a defense all the time, but isn't successful most of the time. Medina should have pleaded guilty and saved some time a trouble.ReferencesLaw School Case Briefs | Hints | Tactics. (n.d.). : Medina v. California case brief. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from http://www.lawschoolcasebriefs.net/2013/11/medina-v-california-case-brief.htmlMediana v. California 112 S. Ct. 2572 (1992). (n.d.). Mediana v. California 112 S. Ct. 2572 (1992). Retrieved January 19, 2014, from http://www.law.harvard.edu/publications/evidenceiii/cases/medina.htmMedina v. California, 505 U.S. 437 (1992).. (1992, February 25). Medina v. California, 505 U.S. 437 (1992).. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/90-8370.ZS.html

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