contrary to the entire record of defendant's behavior.
Accordingly, defendant's argument on this point fails.
Third, it is not reasonably possible that counsel could have
affected the outcome of the competency hearing had he or she been
able to challenge the findings of Dr, Shadduck. The exact basis
for rejecting this argument depends on how many inferences
defendant chooses to stack upon one another. Taking a narrow
view, the entire argument is flawed because there was no live
testimony to cross-examine at defendant's competency hearing. So,
defendant's argument presupposes that counsel could have
undermined Dr. Shadduck's opinion through a means that was not
available as the case in fact proceeded. Taking a broader view,
re-writing history to presume a forum in which Dr. Shadduck could
be cross-examined, the court finds that there is no reasonable
possibility that any amount of cross-examination could have
changed the court's opinion of defendant's competency. Defendant
essentially challenges Dr. Shadduck's conclusion with the
argument that the facts before him should have led to the
opposite conclusion. Defendant's counsel, a layperson, asserts
that the evidence shows that defendant's view of her case was
"irrational" and, therefore, defendant could have been found
incompetent after cross-examination. Defendant's Mem. at 11.
Given the court's choice between following two experts' findings
of competency versus relying upon a counsel's opinion that his or
her client has grandiose expectations of victory, there is no
reasonable possibility that the court would have followed the
latter. Two experts said that defendant was competent. Defendant
has provided no basis for the assertion that counsel's
cross-examination could have changed the court's reliance on
those opinions. Consequently, defendant's argument on this point
Fourth, it is not reasonably possible that counsel could
have affected the outcome of the competency hearing had she been
allowed to retain an expert to further examine defendant.
Defendant's argument again loses sight of practical reality and
places speculation and inference in its stead. Her contention
rests upon the assumption that "a lawyer for [defendant] could
have obtained an independent expert." Defendant's Mem. at 14.
Defendant was proceeding in forma pauperis, which is why counsel
for the Federal Public Defender's Office was appointed to
represent her originally. To hire an additional independent
expert — i.e., beyond Shadduck and Cambosis — defendant would have
had to seek authorization from the court for the expenditure.
Defendant provides no basis for the assumption that the court
would have been at all inclined to allow a third (at that time)
expert to examine defendant, given two previous independent
experts' reliable findings of competency within three and
one-half months.*fn4 The court finds no reasonable possibility
that it would have approved the hiring of another independent
expert. Therefore, defendant's argument on this point is
Fifth, it is not reasonably possible that counsel could have
affected the outcome of the competency hearing by advising
defendant not to proceed pro se. The court emphasized the
inadvisability of a criminal defendant representing herself. See
Tr. of Arr. Hrg. at 4. The court even explained to defendant
that, given the specific circumstances of her case, proceeding
pro se was especially imprudent. Id. Nonetheless, as she had done
at nearly every other juncture, defendant listened to the advice
being given and rejected it. Defendant went
to great lengths to dispose of the counsel she had, who had
negotiated a diversion. There is no basis to sustain a finding
that additional counsel would have had more success. Accordingly,
the court rejects defendant's argument.
For these reasons, defendant's arguments all fail.
Consequently, defendant will not be affording a new trial.
For the reasons given above, the court HEREBY FINDS that, in
light of the arguments advanced by defendant's counsel, there is
no reasonable possibility that counsel could have affected the
outcome of defendant's competency hearing. There being no reason
to modify or vacate her conviction, defendant shall continue to
serve her term of incarceration pursuant to the terms of the
prior judgment and commitment order.