Today's Law As Amended


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AB-2543 State hospitals: placement evaluations.(2013-2014)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 1027 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

1027.
 (a) When a defendant pleads not guilty by reason of insanity the court shall select and appoint two, and may select and appoint three, psychiatrists, or licensed psychologists who have a doctoral degree in psychology and at least five years of postgraduate experience in the diagnosis and treatment of emotional and mental disorders,  appoint an evaluation panel that has been convened pursuant to Section 7233 of the Welfare and Institutions Code,  to examine the defendant and investigate his or her mental status. It is the duty of the psychiatrists or psychologists selected and appointed  evaluation panel  to make the examination and investigation, and to testify, whenever summoned, in any proceeding in which the sanity of the defendant is in question. The psychiatrists or psychologists appointed by the court  members of the evaluation panel  shall be allowed, in addition to their actual traveling expenses, those fees that in the discretion of the court seem just and reasonable, having regard to the services rendered by the witnesses. The fees allowed shall be paid by the county where the indictment was found or in which the defendant was held for trial. trial to the State Department of State Hospitals. 
(b) Any report on the examination and investigation made pursuant to subdivision (a) shall include, but not be limited to, the psychological history of the defendant, the facts surrounding the commission of the acts forming the basis for the present charge used by the psychiatrist or psychologist  evaluation panel  in making his or her  the panel’s  examination of the defendant, the present psychological or psychiatric symptoms of the defendant, if any, the substance abuse history of the defendant, the substance use history of the defendant on the day of the offense, a review of the police report for the offense, and any other credible and relevant material reasonably necessary to describe the facts of the offense.
(c) This section does not presume that a psychiatrist or psychologist  an evaluation panel  can determine whether a defendant was sane or insane at the time of the alleged offense. This section does not limit a court’s discretion to admit or exclude, pursuant to the Evidence Code, psychiatric or psychological evidence about the defendant’s state of mind or mental or emotional condition at the time of the alleged offense.
(d) Nothing contained in this section shall be deemed or construed to prevent any party to any criminal action from producing any other expert evidence with respect to the mental status of the defendant. If expert witnesses are called by the district attorney in the action, they shall only be entitled to those witness fees as may be allowed by the court.
(e) Any psychiatrist or psychologist  The members of an evaluation panel  appointed by the court may be called by either party to the action or by the court, and shall be subject to all legal objections as to competency and bias and as to qualifications as an expert. When called by the court or by either party to the action, the court may examine the psychiatrist or psychologist,  members of the evaluation panel,  as deemed necessary, but either party shall have the same right to object to the questions asked by the court and the evidence adduced as though the psychiatrist or psychologist were a witness  members of the panel were witnesses  for the adverse party. When the psychiatrist or psychologist  a member of the panel  is called and examined by the court, the parties may cross-examine him or her in the order directed by the court. When called by either party to the action, the adverse party may examine him or her the same as in the case of any other witness called by the party.

SEC. 2.

 Section 1369 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

1369.
 Except as stated in subdivision (g), a  A  trial by court or jury of the question of mental competence shall proceed in the following order:
(a) (1) The court shall appoint a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist, and any other expert the court may deem appropriate, to examine the defendant. If the defendant or the defendant’s counsel informs the court that the defendant is not seeking a finding of mental incompetence, the court shall appoint two psychiatrists, licensed psychologists, or a combination thereof. One of the psychiatrists or licensed psychologists may be named by the defense and one may be named by the prosecution.
(2) (a)  The examining psychiatrists or licensed psychologists shall  court shall appoint an evaluation panel that has been convened pursuant to Section 7233 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and any other expert with forensic experience the court may deem appropriate, to examine the defendant. In any case where the defendant or the defendant’s counsel informs the court that the defendant is not seeking a finding of mental incompetence, the defense and the prosecution shall each confer with the State Department of State Hospitals regarding the selection of the panelists. The examining panelists shall  evaluate the nature of the defendant’s mental disorder, if any, the defendant’s ability or inability to understand the nature of the criminal proceedings or assist counsel in the conduct of a defense in a rational manner as a result of a mental disorder and, if within the scope of their licenses and appropriate to their opinions, whether or not treatment with antipsychotic medication is medically appropriate for the defendant and whether antipsychotic medication is likely to restore the defendant to mental competence. If an examining psychologist panelist  is of the opinion that antipsychotic medication may be medically appropriate for the defendant and that the defendant should be evaluated by a psychiatrist to determine if antipsychotic medication is medically appropriate, the psychologist panelist  shall inform the court of this opinion and his or her recommendation as to whether a psychiatrist should examine the defendant. The examining psychiatrists or licensed psychologists  panelists  shall also address the issues of whether the defendant has capacity to make decisions regarding antipsychotic medication and whether the defendant is a danger to self or others. If the defendant is examined by a psychiatrist and the psychiatrist forms an opinion as to whether or not treatment with antipsychotic medication is medically appropriate, the psychiatrist shall inform the court of his or her opinions as to the likely or potential side effects of the medication, the expected efficacy of the medication, possible alternative treatments, and whether it is medically appropriate to administer antipsychotic medication in the county jail. If it is suspected the defendant is developmentally disabled, the court shall appoint the director of the regional center for the developmentally disabled established under Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 4500) of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or the designee of the director, to examine the defendant. The court may order the developmentally disabled defendant to be confined for examination in a residential facility or state hospital. 
(3) If it is suspected the defendant has a developmental disability, the court shall appoint the director of the regional center established under Division 4.5 (commencing with Section 4500) of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or the director’s designee, to examine the defendant to determine whether he or she has a developmental disability. The regional center director or his or her designee shall determine whether the defendant has a developmental disability, as defined in Section 4512 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and is therefore eligible for regional center services and supports. The regional center director or his or her designee shall provide the court with a written report informing the court of this determination.
(4)  The regional center director shall recommend to the court a suitable residential facility or state hospital. Prior to issuing an order pursuant to this section, the court shall consider the recommendation of the regional center director. While the person is confined pursuant to order of the court under this section, he or she shall be provided with necessary care and treatment.
(b) (1) The counsel for the defendant shall offer evidence in support of the allegation of mental incompetence.
(2) If the defense declines to offer any evidence in support of the allegation of mental incompetence, the prosecution may do so.
(c) The prosecution shall present its case regarding the issue of the defendant’s present mental competence.
(d) Each party may offer rebutting testimony, unless the court, for good reason in furtherance of justice, also permits other evidence in support of the original contention.
(e) When the evidence is concluded, unless the case is submitted without final argument, the prosecution shall make its final argument and the defense shall conclude with its final argument to the court or jury.
(f) In a jury trial, the court shall charge the jury, instructing them on all matters of law necessary for the rendering of a verdict. It shall be presumed that the defendant is mentally competent unless it is proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant is mentally incompetent. The verdict of the jury shall be unanimous.
(g) Only a court trial is required to determine competency in a proceeding for a violation of probation, mandatory supervision, postrelease community supervision, or parole.
(h) (1) The State Department of State Hospitals, on or before July 1, 2017, shall adopt guidelines for education and training standards for a psychiatrist or licensed psychologist to be considered for appointment by the court pursuant to this section. To develop these guidelines, the State Department of State Hospitals shall convene a workgroup comprised of the Judicial Council and groups or individuals representing judges, defense counsel, district attorneys, counties, advocates for people with developmental and mental disabilities, state psychologists and psychiatrists, professional associations and accrediting bodies for psychologists and psychiatrists, and other interested stakeholders.
(2) When making an appointment pursuant to this section, the court shall appoint an expert who meets the guidelines established in accordance with this subdivision or an expert with equivalent experience and skills. If there is no reasonably available expert who meets the guidelines or who has equivalent experience and skills, the court may appoint an expert who does not meet the guidelines.

SEC. 3.

 Section 7233 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

7233.
 (a) The State Department of State Hospitals shall establish a pool of psychiatrists and psychologists with forensic skills who are employees of the department from which evaluation panels shall be created pursuant to subdivision (b).
(b) The department shall create evaluation panels with each panel consisting of three to five forensic psychiatrists or psychologists from the pool created in subdivision (a).