To address this oversight, this Article proposes establishing a competency standard that addresses the motivations of an inmate and supports the recommendation of the American Bar Association that this third prong be added to the Rees test.
Although the Rees test has provided the primary guide for lower courts determining competency in this context, "[e]ven a quick parsing of Rees foreshadow[ed] difficulties in application." (65) Rees set forth a two-pronged test: (1) does the defendant lack the "capacity to appreciate his position and make a rational choice with respect to continuing or abandoning further litigation," or (2) "is [he] suffering from a mental disease, disorder, or defect which may substantially affect his capacity" to make this decision?
Procunier stated that the Rees test requires courts to address three questions:
Second, the Rees test asks whether the defendant suffers from a mental illness which may substantially affect his capacity to make a rational decision.