The case of Ralph Tortorici provides another classic example of what happens when an incompetent defendant is allowed to stand trial. Tortorici was psychotic in 1994 when he injured a fellow student during a hostage takeover at the State University of New York. He underwent competency restoration treatment and was eventually deemed competent to stand trial despite remaining highly delusional. On the second day of jury selection in his insanity trial, the prosecutor hired an expert to evaluate Tortorici’s sanity. (Whereas legal competency pertains to one’s present abilities to understand and reason, sanity refers to one’s mental state at the time of a past offense; persons acquitted as insane typically go to locked psychiatric hospitals.) Upon meeting with Tortorici, Dr. Lawrence Siegel realized the defendant was floridly psychotic and incompetent. He wrote a letter to the prosecutor explaining the need to defer a sanity assessment until the defendant could “participate in the examination in a rational and competent manner.” The prosecutor presented this letter to the trial judge, who ignored it. Tortorici was tried in absentia, convicted on all 11 counts after just an hour or deliberations, and sentenced to prison. Two months before the U.S. Supreme Court was slated to hear his appeal, he was found dead, hanging from a bedsheet in his cell.