2011 Wyoming Statutes
TITLE 7 - CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
CHAPTER 11 - TRIAL AND MATTERS INCIDENT THERETO
7-11-303. Examination of accused to determine fitness to proceed; reports; commitment; defenses and objections.


WY Stat § 7-11-303 (1997 through Reg Sess) What's This?

(a) If it appears at any stage of a criminal proceeding, by motion or upon the court's own motion, that there is reasonable cause to believe that the accused has a mental illness or deficiency making him unfit to proceed, all further proceedings shall be suspended.

(b) The court shall order an examination of the accused by a designated examiner. The order may include, but is not limited to, an examination of the accused at the Wyoming state hospital on an inpatient or outpatient basis, at a local mental health center on an inpatient or outpatient basis, or at his place of detention. In selecting the examination site, the court may consider proximity to the court, availability of an examiner, and the necessity for security precautions. If the order provides for commitment of the accused to a designated facility, the commitment shall continue no longer than a thirty (30) day period for the study of the mental condition of the accused. The prosecuting attorney and counsel for the accused shall cooperate in providing the relevant information and materials to the designated examiner, and the court may order as necessary that relevant information be provided to the examiner.

(c) Written reports of the examination shall be filed with the clerk of court. The report shall include:

(i) Detailed findings;

(ii) An opinion as to whether the accused has a mental illness or deficiency, and its probable duration;

(iii) An opinion as to whether the accused, as a result of mental illness or deficiency, lacks capacity to comprehend his position, to understand the nature and object of the proceedings against him, to conduct his defense in a rational manner, and to cooperate with his counsel to the end that any available defense may be interposed;

(iv) Repealed By Laws 2009, Ch. 31, 2.

(v) A recommendation as to whether the accused should be held in a designated facility for treatment pending determination by the court of the issue of mental fitness to proceed; and

(vi) A recommendation as to whether the accused, if found by the court to be mentally fit to proceed, should be detained in a designated facility pending further proceedings.

(d) The clerk of court shall deliver copies of the report to the district attorney and to the accused or his counsel. The report is not a public record or open to the public. After receiving a copy of the report, both the accused and the state may, upon written request and for good cause shown, obtain an order granting them an examination of the accused by a designated examiner of their own choosing. For each examination ordered, a report conforming to the requirements of subsection (c) of this section shall be furnished to the court and the opposing party.

(e) If the initial report contains the recommendation that the accused should be held in a designated facility pending determination of the issue of mental fitness to proceed, the court may order that the accused be committed to or held in a designated facility pending determination of mental fitness to proceed. The court may order the involuntary administration of antipsychotic medications to a person accused of a serious crime as defined in W.S. 7-6-102(a)(v) to render the accused competent to stand trial, provided the court finds:

(i) There are important governmental interests at stake including, but not limited to:

(A) Bringing the accused to trial;

(B) Timely prosecution;

(C) Assuring the accused has a fair trial.

(ii) The involuntary administration of antipsychotic medications will significantly further the governmental interest and the administration of the medication is:

(A) Substantially likely to render the accused competent to stand trial; and

(B) Substantially unlikely to have side effects that will interfere significantly with the ability of the accused to assist counsel in conducting a trial defense, thereby rendering the trial unfair.

(iii) That any alternative and less intrusive treatments are unlikely to achieve substantially the same results; and

(iv) The administration pursuant to a prescription by a licensed psychiatrist of the antipsychotic medications is medically appropriate and is in the best medical interests of the accused in light of the accused's medical condition.

(f) If neither the state, nor the accused or his counsel contests the opinion referred to in paragraph (c)(iii) of this section relative to fitness to proceed, the court may make a determination and finding of record on this issue on the basis of the report filed or the court may hold a hearing on its own motion. If the opinion relative to fitness to proceed is contested the court shall hold a hearing on the issue. The report or reports may be received in evidence at any hearing on the issue. The party contesting any opinion relative to fitness to proceed has the right to summon and cross-examine the persons who rendered the opinion and to offer evidence upon the issue.

(g) If the court determines that the accused is mentally fit to proceed, the court may order that the accused be held in confinement, be committed to a designated facility pending further proceedings, or be released on bail or other conditions. If the court determines that the accused lacks mental fitness to proceed, the proceedings against him shall be suspended and the court shall commit him to a designated facility to determine whether there is substantial probability that the accused will regain his fitness to proceed:

(i) The examiner shall provide a full report to the court, the prosecuting attorney and the accused or his counsel within ninety (90) days of arrival of the accused at the designated treating facility. If the examiner is unable to complete the assessment within ninety (90) days the examiner shall provide to the court and counsel a summary progress report which informs the court that additional time is necessary to complete the assessment, in which case the examiner may have up to an additional ninety (90) days to provide the full report for good cause shown, as follows:

(A) The full report shall assess:

(I) The facility's or program's capacity to provide appropriate treatment for the accused;

(II) The nature of treatments provided to the accused;

(III) What progress toward competency restoration has been made with respect to the factors identified by the court in its initial order;

(IV) The accused's current level of mental disorder or mental deficiency and need for treatment, if any; and

(V) The likelihood of restoration of competency and the amount of time estimated to achieve competency.

(B) Upon receipt of the full report, the court shall hold a hearing to determine the accused's current status. The burden of proving that the accused is fit to proceed shall be on the proponent of the assertion. Following the hearing, the court shall determine by a preponderance of the evidence whether the accused is:

(I) Fit to proceed;

(II) Not fit to proceed with a substantial probability that the accused may become fit to proceed in the foreseeable future; or

(III) Not fit to proceed without a substantial probability that the accused may become fit to proceed in the foreseeable future.

(C) If the court makes a determination pursuant to subdivision (B)(I) of this paragraph, the court shall proceed with the trial or any other procedures as may be necessary to adjudicate the charges;

(D) If the court makes a determination pursuant to subdivision (B)(II) of this paragraph, the court may order that the accused remain committed to the custody of the designated facility for the purpose of treatment intended to restore the accused to competency;

(E) If the court makes a determination pursuant to subdivision (B)(III) of this paragraph, the court shall order the accused released from the custody of the designated facility unless proper civil commitment proceedings have been instituted and held as provided in title 25 of the Wyoming statutes. The continued retention, hospitalization and discharge of the accused shall be the same as for other patients.

(ii) If it is determined pursuant to subdivision (i)(B)(II) of this subsection that there is substantial probability that the accused will regain his fitness to proceed, the commitment of the accused at a designated facility shall continue until the head of the facility reports to the court that in his opinion the accused is fit to proceed. If this opinion is not contested by the state, the accused or his counsel, the criminal proceeding shall be resumed. If the opinion is contested, the court shall hold a hearing as provided in subsection (f) of this section. While the accused remains at a designated facility under this subsection, the head of the facility shall issue a full report at least once every three (3) months in accordance with the requirements of subparagraph (i)(A) of this subsection on the progress the accused is making towards regaining his fitness to proceed.

(h) A finding by the court that the accused is mentally fit to proceed shall not prejudice the accused in a defense to the crime charged on the ground that at the time of the act he was afflicted with a mental illness or deficiency excluding responsibility. Nor shall the finding be introduced in evidence on that issue or otherwise brought to the notice of the jury. No statement made by the accused in the course of any examination or treatment pursuant to this section and no information received by any person in the course of the examination or treatment shall be admitted in evidence in any criminal proceeding then or thereafter pending on any issue other than that of the mental condition of the accused.

(j) Notwithstanding any provision of this section, counsel for the accused may make any and all legal objections which are susceptible of a fair determination prior to trial without the personal participation of the accused.

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