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State v. Guido
New Jersey Supreme Court
191 A.2d 45 (1963)
Adele Guido (defendant) wanted a divorce from her husband. One morning when Guido’s husband was asleep on the couch, she took a gun and went into her bedroom intending to commit suicide. After deciding that would not be the answer, she returned to the living room to put the weapon away but when she looked at her husband, she raised the gun and fired it at him until the gun was empty. Before trial, Guido was examined by two court-appointed psychiatrists who concluded that she was “legally” sane at the time of the shooting. After consulting with Guido’s defense counsel, the psychiatrists changed their conclusion from sane to insane, but did not change their underlying medical findings. The last page of their report was thereafter re-typed to reflect the change. During trial, the court ordered defense counsel to produce the original report and then proceeded to interrogate defense counsel out of the jury’s presence regarding his intentions to mislead the jury. Subsequently, the prosecution said in his closing arguments, “how can you believe a woman who lends herself to the deception that was practiced on the Court, on this Court by the doctors and her attorney?” and that defense counsel was “in cahoots with Doctors Galen and Chodosh and perpetrated a fraud on this Court.” Guido was convicted of second-degree murder and appealed directly to the state’s supreme court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Weintraub, C.J.)
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