Judge extends in-jail competency deadlines to 14 days - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Judge extends in-jail competency deadlines to 14 days

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A federal judge has modified a permanent injunction against the Washington state agency that oversees competency evaluations for mentally ill people charged with crimes. A federal judge has modified a permanent injunction against the Washington state agency that oversees competency evaluations for mentally ill people charged with crimes.
SEATTLE -

A federal judge has modified a permanent injunction against the Washington state agency that oversees competency evaluations for mentally ill people charged with crimes.
    
U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman had order the Department of Social and Health services to conduct in-jail competency evaluations within seven days of a judge's order, but the state appealed, saying a 14-day limit was needed. A federal appeals court sided with the state and sent the issue back to Pechman.
    
On Monday, Pechman amended the injunction to the 14-day limit. But her sharply worded order rejected a list of exceptions to that 14-day timeline the Legislature had established.
    
Pechman said those exceptions "swallow the rule" and leave mentally ill people languishing while letting the state "continue to make excuses, as has been its pattern."

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