Statement Of The United States Attorney Regarding The U.S. District Court’s Ruling In United States Vs. Anthony Lupas, Jr.
Yesterday, Judge Mariani ruled that Lupas was not competent to stand trial at the present time and ordered that Lupas be placed in the custody of the Attorney General to determine whether there is a substantial probability Lupas will attain the capacity to permit proceedings in this case to go forward in the future.
The ruling came after a hearing and the consideration of reports and conclusions of health care professionals. The government had full opportunity to present evidence and arguments in support of its position. The Court’s 43 page ruling is very detailed. There is no legal or factual basis for the government to appeal the decision, or to ask the Court to reconsider it, at this time.
The charges in this case are extremely serious; the matter is of great concern to the alleged victims and the general public in Luzerne County; the defendant is a prominent lawyer. At the same time, under the law, the mental competency of a defendant to stand trial is a basic requirement of our system. The law provides for a careful and lengthy process to determine a defendant’s mental competency. As Judge Mariani noted in his ruling, the decision is not the final step in the criminal justice process or the final word on whether or not Lupas will be competent to stand trial. After further hospitalization and examination of the defendant while he is in the custody of the Attorney General, the government will have the opportunity to review the results and present its position to the Court. This is the procedure mandated by law in these situations within the federal system.