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Name: Nguyen v. Garcia
Case #: 05-56596
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 02/09/2007

In a proceeding to establish competency under Welfare and Institutions Code section 1367 et seq., introduction of evidence by the prosecution that the defendant requested counsel when arrested in order to show ability to cooperate in his defense does not constitute a violation of due process. The purpose of a competency hearing is to assure that one who is mentally unable to defend himself will not be tried on a criminal charge rather than to determine guilt or innocence and does not implicate the same interests as those in a guilt/innocence proceeding. Thus, the Supreme Court’s holding in Wainwright v. Greenfield (1986) 474 U.S. 284 that the use of defendant’s post-Miranda silence to prove sanity following defendant’s plea of insanity during the criminal phase of trial was a violation of the right against self incrimination is not applicable.