Statements During Mental Examinations
Whether the privilege against self-incrimination extends to mental examinations
• [The defendant] contends that the privilege against self-incrimination extends to psychiatric examinations. This Court so held long ago.
• For information about the privilege against self-incrimination, please review Privilege Against Self-Incrimination.
Holding in Estelle v. Smith
• A criminal defendant, who neither initiates a psychiatric evaluation nor attempts to introduce any psychiatric evidence, may not be compelled to respond to a psychiatrist if his statements can be used against him at a capital sentencing proceeding.
Holding in Buchanan v. Kentucky
• We further noted: “A criminal defendant, who neither initiates a psychiatric evaluation nor attempts to introduce any psychiatric evidence, may not be compelled to respond to a psychiatrist if his statements can be used against him at a capital sentencing proceeding.” This statement logically leads to another proposition: if a defendant requests such an evaluation or presents psychiatric evidence, then, at the very least, the prosecution may rebut this presentation with evidence from the reports of the examination that the defendant requested. The defendant would have no Fifth Amendment privilege against the introduction of this psychiatric testimony by the prosecution.
Interpretations of the aforementioned holdings
• [T]he U.S. Supreme Court held a defendant must receive Miranda warnings before participating in a court-ordered psychiatric exam if his statements are to be used to prove his future dangerousness in the penalty phase of a capital trial.
See Hayes v. State, 667 N.E.2d 222, 225-26 (Ind. Ct. App. 1996), trans. denied(“[T]he privilege against self-incrimination has been extended to court-ordered psychiatric examinations if the accused's statements are to be used to prove his future dangerousness in the penalty phase of a capital trial.”)
• In Estelle, the Court limited its holding to cases in which the defendant “neither initiates a psychiatric evaluation nor attempts to introduce any psychiatric evidence.”
• [T]he U.S. Supreme Court and the Indiana Supreme Court have recognized that Miranda warnings were not necessary in situations where the accused requested a psychiatric examination.
• It is also well-established . . . that a defendant is not entitled to Miranda warnings when he raises the issue of his own sanity at the time of the offense.
Examples from case law
• In many respects Estelle v. Smith is in harmony with this Court's opinion in Haskett v. State, where we held that the defendant could not be compelled to respond at a psychiatric examination initiated by the prosecution for the purpose of determining whether he was a criminal sexual psychopathic person and subject upon such pre-trial determination to be confined in a state psychiatric institution for an indefinite period, possibly life.
• Here, [the defendant] voluntarily sought treatment with an independent source. The Miranda court pointed out that a warning is needed to make the defendant aware he is in an adversary system, and not among people acting in his interest. [The defendant] was not entitled to Miranda warnings prior to his counseling session with [the therapist].
• The psychiatric examinations and evaluations were initiated by [the defendant] and considered as evidence at trial due to [the defendant’s] presentation of insanity as a defense to the charged crime. The principles established by Estelle do not encompass such a case. The necessity of advising [the defendant] concerning his right to remain silent did not arise since the examinations were initiated and approved by him.
• [The defendant] was not entitled to Miranda warnings prior to his interview with [the psychiatrist]. [The defendant] had ample opportunity to consult with counsel regarding his defense, and together they chose to plead insanity with full knowledge that [the defendant] might have to submit to psychiatric testing by the State.
• We . . . find no violation of the Fifth Amendment. The Fifth Amendment, as well as Art. 1, § 14 of the Indiana Constitution, provides that persons shall be free from being compelled to make disclosures that might subject them to criminal prosecution or that might aid in convicting them. Defendant here was not compelled to testify in any way. Defendant originally filed a plea of insanity. Once he did so, defendant “accepted the fact that he would be then subject to psychiatric examination and evaluation for the purpose of generating evidence admissible in the oncoming trial and useful to the prosecution in defeating his position.” As in Mahaffey, defendant here apparently participated fully and freely in the examination. We find no error.