The Vermont Statutes Online
Title 13 : Crimes and Criminal Procedure
Chapter 157 : INSANITY AS A DEFENSE(Cite as: 13 V.S.A. § 4816)
§ 4816. Scope of examination; report; evidence
(a) Examinations provided for in section 4815 of this title shall have reference to one or both of the following:
(1) mental competency of the person examined to stand trial for the alleged offense.
(2) sanity of the person examined at the time of the alleged offense.
(b) A competency evaluation for an individual thought to have a developmental disability shall include a current evaluation by a psychologist skilled in assessing individuals with developmental disabilities.
(c)(1) As soon as practicable after the examination has been completed, the examining psychiatrist or, if applicable under subsection (b) of this section, the psychiatrist and the psychologist shall prepare a report containing findings in regard to the applicable provisions of subsection (a) of this section. The report shall be transmitted to the court issuing the order for examination, and copies of the report sent to the State’s Attorney, to the respondent, to the respondent’s attorney if the respondent is represented by counsel, to the Commissioner of Mental Health, and, if applicable, to the Department of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living.
(2) If the court orders examination of both the person’s competency to stand trial and the person’s sanity at the time of the alleged offense, those opinions shall be presented in separate reports and addressed separately by the court. In such cases, the examination of the person’s sanity shall only be undertaken if the psychiatrist or, if applicable under subsection (b) of this section, the psychiatrist and the psychologist are able to form the opinion that the person is competent to stand trial, unless the defendant requests that the examinations occur concurrently. If the evaluation of the defendant’s sanity at the time of the alleged offense does not occur until the defendant is deemed competent to stand trial, the psychiatrist or, if applicable under subsection (b) of this section, the psychiatrist and the psychologist shall make a reasonable effort to collect and preserve any evidence necessary to form an opinion as to sanity if the person regains competence.
(d) No statement made in the course of the examination by the person examined, whether or not he or she has consented to the examination, shall be admitted as evidence in any criminal proceeding for the purpose of proving the commission of a criminal offense or for the purpose of impeaching testimony of the person examined.
(e) The relevant portion of a psychiatrist’s report shall be admitted into evidence as an exhibit on the issue of the person’s mental competency to stand trial and the opinion shall be conclusive on the issue if agreed to by the parties and if found by the court to be relevant and probative on the issue.
(f) Introduction of a report under subsection (d) of this section shall not preclude either party or the court from calling the psychiatrist who wrote the report as a witness or from calling witnesses or introducing other relevant evidence. Any witness called by either party on the issue of the defendant’s competency shall be at the State’s expense, or, if called by the court, at the court’s expense. (Added 1969, No. 20, § 3; amended 1995, No. 134 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § C25a; 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § F.6; 2021, No. 57, § 1.)