Prearraignment forensic evaluation: the odyssey moves east of the Pecos.

R. D. Miller,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law 18(3): 311-21, 1990.
Although the ethical guidelines of both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law explicitly prohibit the forensic examination of criminal defendants before appointment of counsel, except for the purpose of providing emergency medical care and treatment, the practice continues in many parts of the country. This article presents a recent case in which this practice was challenged on appeal, to serve as a focus for discussion of the evolution of, and rationales for and against, these ethical positions. It will also serve as a focus to examine the legal views concerning such examinations, derived from the appeal of the decision in the case itself as well as decisions in similar cases.