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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Justices Blast One-Stop-Shop Experts in Alabama

Tim Ryan
Courthouse News
Originally posted April 24, 2017

The Supreme Court’s liberal justices shredded an argument by Alabama’s solicitor general Monday that criminal defendants are not entitled to a mental health expert separate from the ones tapped by prosecutors.

McWilliams v. Dunn, the case the Supreme Court heard this morning, is nested inside the court’s 1984 decision in Ake v. Oklahoma, which held that poor criminal defendants using a defense of insanity are entitled to an expert to help support their claim.

A split has emerged in the 30 years since the decision, with some states deciding one expert helping both the prosecution and defense satisfies the requirement, and others choosing to assign an expert for the defendant to use exclusively.

The article is here.