Is it illegal for a court to convict someone who is mentally retarded?
Question Details: My girlfriend was diagnosed with metal retardation at the age of 16. She has recently been charged with a possession of a controlled substance during a house raid at a house in which we did not reside. They very viciously dragged her out of the house and hurt her ankles. She has clear evidence from her doctor that they had in fact hurt her and on top of that she had just given birth 1 to 2 weeks prior. Well they had tricked her into signing a plea agreement. Is there any way that we can fight this?
It is only illegal IF it can be shown that your girlfriend is so impaired that she could not understand the nature of the proceedings or assist in her own defense or make informed choices about her case. But in that case, if she is impaired to that level--which would have to be shown by medical evidence and testimony in court; a "diagnosis of mental retardation" is not enough--that doesn't mean she avoids prosecution or goes free. Someone who is incompetent to stand trial may be remanded to a facility to care for her, since at that level of impairment, she may not be able to care for herself; or she may have a legal guardian appointed for her, to make decisions, including about where to live, spending money, medical care, etc. decisions for her.