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United States v. West
United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
962 F.2d 1243 (1992)
Peter West (defendant) was charged with robbing a bank. West asserted an insanity defense, and the court appointed a psychiatrist to assist in his defense. To that end, Dr. Lawrence Jeckel examined West and determined that at the time of the robbery West suffered from schizoaffective disorder, a severe mental illness. However, Jeckel also testified that despite the diagnosis, West “understood the wrongfulness of his actions at the time of the alleged crime.” The trial court granted the motion of the prosecution (plaintiff) to prohibit Jeckel from testifying under Federal Rule of Evidence 704(b) (Rule 704(b)). The court also ruled that Federal Rule of Evidence 403 (Rule 403) called for excluding the testimony on the ground that the testimony would confuse the jury with complicated psychiatric terminology. Further, based on Jeckel’s report, the court declined to charge the jury on the question of insanity. West was convicted, and he appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Will, J.)
Concurrence (Manion, J.)
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