Judge says Loughner can't have own mental evaluation
Mon, 28 Mar 2011 21:32:22 GMT —
Shooting suspect Jared Loughner may not get a separate mental exam from a psychiatrist of his choosing.U.S. District Judge Larry Burns filed court records today saying he was mistaken in allowing Loughner to seek an independent competency exam in addition to the court-appointed exam taking place in Missouri.Loughner arrived Wednesday, March 23rd at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, known locally as Fed Med.Burns said he made the mistake in trying to accommodate concerns from Loughner's attorneys about the impartiality of the Bureau of Prisons professionals conducting the exam.
Burns now proposes appointing a psychiatrist for the second exam who has no affiliation with the Bureau of Prisons. A final decision on the matter will be made by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.This is just the latest legal debate over the psychological evaluation in which Burns ordered Loughner tested to determine if he understands the nature and consequences of the charges he faces and can assist in his defense.The order also requires that both the defense and prosecution be provided with video recordings of the tests. Loughner's lawyers said providing the prosecution with the recordings would violate their client's right to a fair trial and could violate his rights against self-incrimination.In court filings, prosecutors reminded the judge that it was Loughner's defense team that asked for the evaluation to be recorded. Prosecutors instead asked the judge to not allow any videotaping of the examinations.The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco issued a temporary stay Friday, March 25th, requiring that the videotaping could go forth but that the copies be withheld from all attorneys until the judges can review the matter.Loughner has pleaded not guilty to federal charges stemming from the Jan. 8 shootings that killed six people and wounded 13 , including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.Giffords' astronaut husband, Mark Kelly, has confirmed that Giffords plans to attend April's launch of the space shuttle Endeavour.Kelly will command the April 19th mission to deliver equipment to the International Space Station.What do you think, should the prosecution get a copy of the videotaped evaluations?(The Associated Press contributed to this story)