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NH Supreme Court rules court ordered psych exams do not violate Fifth Amendment

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The Judicial Update

August 14, 2012

Concord, New Hampshire: This month, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that a court-ordered psychiatric examination of a defendent who was pleading not-guilty by insanity did not violate the defendent's constitutional right protecting against self-incrimination. The defendent, Gary Marchand, plead not guilty by insanity to the fatal stabbing of his wife in 2009. The prosecutor requested a psychiatric evaluation of Marchand which was denied by the trial court based on Marchand's argument. The Supreme Court overturned the decision but established limits to the use of the report. The court permitted the psychiatric evaluation if the prosecution limited their use of the report to rebutting the insanity defense and not to establish guilt or innocence in the case. The trial was supposed to begin last year but was put on hold pending the appeal. It has been remanded to the trial court for final decisions.[1]

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