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Name: Pawlyk v. Wood
Case #: 98-35026
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/19/2001
Subsequent History: Rehg denied
[Appellant’s due process rights were not violated when the state of Washington compelled disclosure to the prosecution and the jury of the evaluation of a psychiatrist who was not called as a witness by the defense. Appellant was examined by two psychiatrists at state expense in preparation of the insanity defense for his trial on murder charges. Only one psychiatrist, the one who had concluded appellant was having a psychotic episode and did not know right from wrong, was ultimately called as a witness. After appellant’s sanity was placed in issue, the court allowed the testimony of the second psychiatrist, who had reached the opposite conclusion. The disclosure of the second report did not violate the due process guarantee of fundamental fairness because the principle merely assures that a defendant can obtain and present evidence to the jury relevant to the issue of sanity. It does not include increasing the risk of an inaccurate decision. The Fifth Amendment privilege did not apply since appellant placed his mental status at issue. Introduction of the testimony did not diminish counsel’s ability to make independent decisions because the insanity defense had already been presented and counsel could have reasonably anticipated the use of the second psychiatrist’s testimony in rebuttal. Dissenting opinion by J. Canby noted that defense counsel should be able to employ the services of a psychiatrist without running the risk of creating evidence for the prosecution.