Dekle Discusses Legal Issues Surrounding Competency of 12-year-old Accused of Murder

Published: February 11th, 2008

Category: News

Bob DekleLegal Skills Professor George R. “Bob” Dekle was quoted in a Feb. 1 Miami Herald article discussing the competency of a 12-year-old boy accused of beating his 17-month-old cousin to death with a baseball bat. A second doctor has been brought into the case to examine this young boy for competency in understanding fully the legal proceedings. Dekle, a former prosecutor, said the standard for competency is the same regardless of age. “It’s whether or not you can understand the nature of the charge and be able to discuss your case in a meaningful fashion with your lawyer and manifest appropriate courtroom behavior,’” he said. Dekle also said the issue becomes trickier with young people. “It has to do with life experience,” he said. “And the older you get, the more you’ve been exposed to, the more sophisticated you become, hopefully.” Keep up with what UF Law faculty are saying in the media and writing about in scholarly publications in FlaLaw Online’s weekly updates on Faculty Scholarship & Activities.