Court Cases By Federal

Dunn v. Johnson
162 F. 3d 302 (5th Cir. 1998)

Dunn was convicted of murder in 1988. Four years later he sought to overturn his conviction, arguing among other things that he was not competent to stand trial. He relied on a medical evaluation done in 1992, by a physician who concluded that Dunn suffered from FAE and that it was so severe (in combination with certain psychiatric disorders) that he was not competent to stand trial.

A state court rejected this evaluation, and the federal court agreed. Both courts noted that the 1992 evaluation was done four years after the trial, that the doctor involved apparently had not actually interviewed Dunn, and that experts who had actually examined Dunn in and before 1988 had concluded that he was competent to stand trial. The courts did not hold that FAS/FAE could not render a defendant incompetent to stand trial, but held only that FAS/FAE had not done so in this case.