The Appeal: Locked Up for Three Decades Without a Trial

Jenny Semmel, Supervising Mental Health Attorney in our Criminal Defense Practice speaks with The Appeal about how people with mental illness can spend years trapped in the justice system because they have been found “unfit for trial” and must undergo a competency evaluation to be deemed “competent” for trial. New York’s Article 730 directly links the amount of time a defendant can be held during competency evaluations to the charges they face.

“Whether someone is charged with a robbery or charged with a homicide, it shouldn’t impact the question of whether or not they can be restored to competency,” she says. “There’s due process, equal protection.”

Read the piece here.