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Abstract

Competency for execution is a legal competency that is an integral part of the capital punishment process in the United States. With the rapidly increasing population under death sentence, the issue of competency for execution is likely to be raised with increasing frequency in the coming years. This creates some compelling ethical issues for the mental health professions. The questions of whether mental health professionals should provide assessment of competency for execution and, if so, how the assessment should be performed, are issues of immediate urgency.