In re Arthur Lee Hinnant, petitioner 1997

Summary: In this case the SJC addresses whether an individual who is incompetent to stand trial due to a severe closed head injury can be subject to a rendition hearing. The Court finds that an individual must understand the proceedings and be able to consult with counsel for the rendition hearing to proceed. If the individual is not competent, then the extradition is stayed until such time as his competency is restored.

(Key words: Competence to stand trial, rendition, head injury)

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678 N.E.2d 1314 (1997) 424 Mass. 900
In re Arthur Lee HINNANT, Petitioner.
Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk. May 13, 1997

The State of North Carolina seeks rendition of the petitioner, Arthur Lee Hinnant. As a result of a severe closed head injury with coma, Hinnant suffers from residual brain damage; a medical examiner has concluded that he is functionally incompetent. We are asked to decide whether his present incompetency requires a stay of the rendition proceedings until his competency is restored…We vacate the Superior Court’s ruling, and remand this case for a determination whether Hinnant is presently competent to understand the nature of the rendition proceedings and to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding. Dusky v. United States, supra at 402, 80 S.Ct. at 788-89. In the event that he is found notcompetent, the extradition will be stayed until such time as his competency is restored.
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