Filing a Notice of Insanity Defense Example Case In Texas

In Wynne v. State, 676 S.W.2d 650, 656 (Tex. App.--Fort Worth 1984, pet. ref'd), the defendant filed a notice of insanity defense. Thereafter, the State requested the appointment of mental health experts to examine the defendant. Two experts, a psychologist and a psychiatrist, were appointed. The defendant was then jointly examined by the two doctors. The psychologist prepared a written report of the examination which was received by the trial court 34 days after the experts were appointed. This submission to the trial court was untimely per art. 46.03, Sec. 3(d). No report was received by the court from the psychiatrist. On the eighth day of trial, the State offered the testimony of both doctors as rebuttal witnesses following the defendant's case-in-chief. The defendant had not been furnished a copy of the psychologist's written report prior to being called as a witness. The defendant timely objected to the doctors being allowed to testify. The trial court recognized that the written report was not timely filed but offered defense counsel the opportunity to take the psychologist on voir dire out of the jury's presence for an hour "just so that you won't have to go into this less informed than I wish you were." Id. In reversing Wynne's conviction on this issue, the Fort Worth court initially noted that while certain provisions of art. 46.03, Sec. 3 are discretionary with the trial court, other provisions are mandatory: After the order to the defendant to submit to examination, we note that the article mandates certain procedures. The court shall advise the experts of the facts and circumstances of the offense and the elements of the insanity defense; the experts shall submit a written report to the court within 30 days; the court shall furnish copies of the report to the attorneys. Id.