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Commonwealth v. Hanright (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-114-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     SJC‑11350   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  SCOTT HANRIGHT.     Suffolk.     February 7, 2013.  ‑  June 17, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ.     Practice, Criminal, Discovery, Psychiatric examination, State of mind, Record.  Rules of Criminal Procedure.  Psychotherapist.  Evidence, State of mind, Medical record.  Constitutional Law, Self‑incrimination.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on July 5, 2012.   The case was reported by Lenk, J.     Fawn D. Balliro Andersen, Assistant District Attorney (Marian T. Ryan, Assistant District Attorney, with her) for the Commonwealth. John P. Osler, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for the defendant.   SPINA, J.  The issue in this appeal is whether Mass. R. Crim. P. 14 (b) (2) (B), as amended, 463 Mass. 1501 (2012), permits pretrial discovery of a defendant’s medical and psychiatric records in connection with a rule 14 (b) (2) (B) psychiatric examination.  The answer must be, Yes.     1.  Background.  A grand jury returned twenty-two indictments against the defendant, including for murder in the first degree and various counts of masked armed robbery.  These indictments arose out of a robbery of a jewelry counter at a department store in Woburn during which a police officer was killed.  Pursuant to Mass. R. Crim. P. 14 (b) (2), as amended, 442 Mass. 1518 (2004), the defendant notified the Commonwealth that he intends to offer expert testimony concerning his mental state at the time of the alleged crime as part of his defense of a lack of criminal responsibility, and that the expert will rely, in part, on the defendant’s statements as to his mental condition at that time.  The Commonwealth moved for a court-ordered psychiatric examination of the defendant pursuant to G. L. c. 123, § 15 (a).  In addition, the Commonwealth sought a court order requiring the defendant to disclose the names and addresses of all persons having custody of any of his medical and psychiatric records, and the production of all such treatment records to the court.  The Commonwealth’s purpose in seeking the defendant’s medical records is to allow the rule 14 (b) (2) (B) examiner to review them in connection with the independent examination of the defendant’s criminal responsibility.  The motion judge allowed the portion of the Commonwealth’s motion seeking an independent psychiatric examination of the defendant, but […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - June 17, 2013 at 9:31 pm

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