The Supreme Judicial Court held that a patient has a right to keep privileged any communications made to a court-appointed psychotherapist absent a showing that he was informed that the communication would not be privileged.
- Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
The Court held that in entering a guilty plea: “The right to an interpreter rests most fundamentally, however, on the notion that no defendant should face the Kafkaesque spectre of an incomprehensible ritual which may terminate in punishment.”
The test to be applied in determining the competence of the defendant is whether he has sufficient present ability to consult with his lawyer with a reasonable degree of rational understanding and whether he has a rational as well as factual understanding of the proceedings against him.
A person is not responsible for criminal conduct if at the time of such conduct as a result of mental disease or defect he lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate the criminality [wrongfulness] of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law.