The Supreme Court of the United States announced the following decision today:
Kansas v. Cheever, No. 12-609: Respondent Scott D. Cheever shot and killed a sheriff. In the hours before the shooting, Cheever had smoked methamphetamine. Federal authorities prosecuted Cheever, who filed notice that he intended to raise an intoxication defense. The District Court thereby ordered Cheever to submit to a psychiatric evaluation pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 12.2(b), which he did. The federal case was later dismissed without prejudice. Meanwhile, Kansas brought capital murder charges against Cheever. When Cheever presented a voluntary-intoxication defense supported by expert testimony, the trial court permitted the State to present rebuttal testimony from the expert who had examined Cheever by order of the federal court. On appeal from his guilty verdict, Cheever argued that the rebuttal testimony had violated his Fifth Amendment rights, and the Kansas Supreme Court agreed. Today, the Court reversed, holding that where a defense expert who has examined the defendant testifies that the defendant lacked the requisite mental state to commit a crime, the prosecution may offer evidence from a court-ordered psychological examination for the limited purpose of rebutting the defendant’s evidence.
The Court's decision is available here.