OUJI-CR 11-3


It is necessary that you understand what certain terms used in these instructions mean in the law. The following definitions apply here:

1. "Competent" or "competency" means the present ability of a person arrested for or charged with a crime to understand the nature of the charges and proceedings brought against him/her and to effectively and rationally assist in his/her defense.

2. “Dangerous” means:

(a) a person who poses a substantial risk of immediate physical harm to himself/herself, as shown by evidence of serious threats of or attempts at suicide or other significant self-inflicted bodily harm;

(b) a person who poses a substantial risk of immediate physical harm to another person or persons, as shown by evidence of violent behavior directed toward another person or persons;

(c) a person who placed another in a reasonable fear of violent behavior directed towards the other person or serious physical harm as shown by serious and immediate threats;

(d) there is a substantial risk that without immediate intervention severe impairment or injury will result to the person alleged to require treatment; or

(e) who poses a substantial risk of immediate serious physical injury or death to himself/herself, as shown by evidence that the person is unable to provide for and is not providing for the basic physical needs of the person and that appropriate provision for those needs cannot be made immediately available in the community; but

(f) a person who is homeless is not necessarily considered dangerous unless the person also meets the requirements just described.

3. "Incompetent" or "incompetency" means any person who is not presently competent. A person may be incompetent due to physical disability.

4. "Mentally retarded person" means a person who has significantly subaverage functioning, IQ of less than 70, manifested before age 18 and existing concurrently with related limitations in two or more of the following applicable adaptive skill areas:

1. Communication;

2. Self-care;

3. Home living;

4. Social skills;

5. Use of community resources;

6. Self-direction;

7. Health and safety;

8. Functional academics;

9. Leisure; and

10. Work.

5. "Person requiring treatment" means either:

(1) A person who represents a risk of harm to self or others because of mental illness; or

(2) A person who is a drug- or alcohol-dependent person and who represents a risk of harm to self or other as a result of drug dependency;

but a person requiring treatment is not:

(1) a person whose mental processes have been weakened or impaired by reason of advanced years, dementia, or Alzheimer's disease,

(2) a mentally retarded or developmentally disabled person,

(3) a person with seizure disorder,

(4) a person with a traumatic brain injury, or

(5) a person who is homeless,

unless he/she also meets the other requirements just described.

6. A reasonable period of time for correction of incompetency through treatment, therapy or training for this particular case is [Specify Applicable Period Time from 22 O.S.Supp. 2008 § 1175.1 ].


Notes on Use

These definitions are taken from 10 O.S. Supp. 2008 § 1408, 22 O.S. Supp. 2008 § 1175.1 and 43A O.S. Supp. 2008 § 1-103 , but they have been modified to make them easier to follow. Trial courts are encouraged to modify the definitions further to increase juror comprehension by eliminating portions of the definition that are not applicable to the particular case. For example, if there is no evidence that the defendant is drug- or alcohol-dependent, the part of the definition of a person requiring treatment should not include the reference to drug- or alcohol-dependency, because it would not be pertinent and could therefore be confusing to the jury. On the other hand, the judge should give the definition of a “mentally retarded person” even if there is no evidence offered that the defendant has an IQ of less than 70, because the jury is required by 22 O.S.Supp. 2008, § 1175.5 to make a finding with respect to whether the defendant is mentally retarded.

Committee Comments

In Valdez v. State, 1995 OK CR 18, ¶¶ 5-6, 900 P.2d 363, 369, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that the definition of competence in 22 O.S. 1991 § 1175.1 (1) satisfies Supreme Court standards.