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People v. Bolden

99 Cal. App. 3d 375 (1979)

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People v. Bolden

California Court of Appeal

99 Cal. App. 3d 375 (1979)

Facts

Samuel Bolden (defendant) was charged with robbery, assault with intent to murder, and assault with a deadly weapon. Two psychiatrists testified for the prosecution (plaintiff) that Bolden was delusional and not competent to stand trial. Bolden believed that his father and brother, whom he had assaulted, were aliens who were inhabiting his relatives’ bodies. Bolden’s counsel advised the court that his client wanted to testify and be found competent to stand trial but that counsel had a duty to protect not just his client’s desires but his client’s best interests. Counsel believed that the insanity defense was available to Bolden, but he could not obtain Bolden’s cooperation to pursue the defense. Counsel had Bolden testify to his own competence and then offered the testimony of a professional psychiatric witness that Bolden was not competent. The jury returned a verdict of not competent to stand trial. On appeal, Bolden argued that he was denied due process by the statute requiring his attorney to give his opinion of his client’s competence, and he was denied effective assistance of counsel when his counsel offered evidence of Bolden’s incompetence despite Bolden’s desire to be found competent.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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