Competency/ Insanity


Mental incapacity to proceed exists when, as a result of mental disease or defect, a defendant presently lacks the capacity to understand the proceedings against him or to assist in his defense; procedure for finding of incapacity to proceed and when capacity is regained. La. Code Crim. P. Art. 641-648.


Any person with a developmental disability found not guilty by reason of insanity or found to be presently lacking the mental capacity to proceed to trial may be committed for developmental disabilities services or residential living options, or both (competency and insanity). LSA-R.S. 28:454.14.

Special Rules

Videotaped testimony is admissible for testimony of “protected person” as long as certain conditions are met. LSA-R.S. 15:440.5.


Law enforcement training: Law enforcement must be trained on how to interact with individuals with mental illness or developmental disabilities. LSA-R.S. 40:2405.5.



Death Penalty

No one with an intellectual disability may be sentenced to death – an evaluation must be performed if the issue is raised. "Intellectual disability" is a disability characterized by all of the following deficits, the onset of which must occur during the developmental period: (a) Deficits in intellectual functions such as reasoning, problem solving, planning, abstract thinking, judgment, academic learning, and learning from experience, confirmed by both clinical assessment and individualized, standardized intelligence testing. (b) Deficits in adaptive functioning that result in failure to meet developmental and sociocultural standards for personal independence and social responsibility; and that, without ongoing support, limit functioning in one or more activities of daily life including, without limitation, communication, social participation, and independent living, across multiple environments such as home, school, work, and community. La. Code Crim. P. Art. 905.5.1.


Allows for treatment for inmates with mental illness or intellectual disabilities. LSA-R.S. 15:830.