United States District Court, D. Alaska
ORDER REGARDING MOTION TO PRECLUDE MENTAL HEALTH
DEFENSE OR EVIDENCE DURING THE GUILT PHASE OF TRIAL
L. GLEASON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court at Docket 497 is the government's Motion to
Preclude Defendant from Raising a Mental Health Defense or
Presenting Evidence Related to his Mental Health During the
Guilt Phase of Trial. Defendant John Pearl Smith, II,
responded in opposition at Docket 508. The government replied
at Docket 512.
Rule of Criminal Procedure 12.2 requires that if the
defendant intends to raise an insanity defense or introduce
expert testimony relating to his mental condition, he must
notify the government “in writing within the time
provided for the filing of a pretrial motion or at any later
time the court sets . . . .” Here, the deadline for Mr.
Smith to file Rule 12.2 notices relating to the guilt phase
of his capital trial was August 1, 2019. The government
seeks an order prohibiting Mr. Smith from raising an
Atkins claim or a mental health defense or from
presenting mental health evidence in the guilt phase of his
capital trial because the defense did not file a Rule 12.2
notice by the August 1, 2019 deadline. Mr. Smith
acknowledges that he has not filed a Rule 12.2 notice
regarding the guilt phase of trial, but maintains that
“counsel would be duty-bound to bring [an
Atkins] claim to the Court's attention if facts
present themselves” and that “[c]ounsel will
continue to bring newly discovered issues to this Court if
the Sixth Amendment requires them to do
so.”The government replies that Mr. Smith
should be “bound by his decision” that mental
health “defenses are not justified. He should not be
given an opportunity to assert otherwise at a later
12.2 is designed to insure that both the defendant and the
Government have ample opportunity to investigate the
facts” related to a Rule 12.2 notice. The Advisory
Committee Notes state that the objective of this rule is to
provide the government “time to prepare to meet the
issue, which will usually require reliance upon expert
testimony.”Thus, Rule 12.2's focus is on
preventing the need “for a continuance in the middle of
a trial, thus unnecessarily delaying the administration of
defense did not provide any applicable notice by the August
1, 2019 deadline. The Court intends to enforce its pretrial
deadlines. Accordingly, the defense shall not
introduce a mental health defense or mental health evidence
during the guilt phase of trial. However, the defense may by
motion seek to revisit this order by demonstrating good cause
for permitting a late filing.
light of the foregoing, IT IS ORDERED that the motion at
Docket 497 is granted.
 Docket 420 (scheduling order).
 Docket 497 at 5-6.
 Docket 508 at 2, 5.
 Docket 512 at 2-3.
United States v. Winn, 577
F.2d 86, 89 (9th Cir. ...