Witness for the Prosecution? - A Primer on Understanding the Limits on the Government’s Gathering of

Client competency, pleas of not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) and mental disease or defect are well-known options available in defending criminal cases. The procedures for addressing these issues differ; states and the federal government provide various mechanisms for raising mental condition defenses. Government access is limited in scope and purpose and is specifically curtailed by both the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Wendy Calaway discusses the scope of the government’s right to refute a mental capacity defense.