CCRP 644     

Art. 644.  Appointment of sanity commission; examination of defendant

A.  Within seven days after a mental examination is ordered, the court shall appoint a sanity commission to examine and report upon the mental condition of the defendant.  The sanity commission shall consist of at least two and not more than three members who are licensed to practice medicine in Louisiana, who have been in the actual practice of medicine for not less than three consecutive years immediately preceding the appointment, and who are qualified by training or experience in forensic evaluations.  The court may appoint, in lieu of one physician, a clinical psychologist or medical psychologist who is licensed to practice psychology in Louisiana, who has been engaged in the practice of clinical or counseling psychology for not less than three consecutive years immediately preceding the appointment, and who is qualified by training or experience in forensic evaluations.  Every sanity commission shall have at least one psychiatrist as a member of the commission, unless one is not reasonably available, in which case, the commission shall have at least one clinical psychologist as a member of the commission.  No more than one member of the sanity commission shall be the coroner or any of his deputies.

B.  The members of the sanity commission appointed to make the examination shall have free access to the defendant at all reasonable times.  The court shall subpoena witnesses to attend the examination at the request of the defendant, the commission, or any member thereof.

C.  For the purpose of the mental examination, the court may order a defendant previously released on bail to appear for mental examinations and hearings in the same manner as other criminal proceedings.

D.(1)  The court, in any judicial district which enters into a cooperative endeavor agreement with the local mental health unit, in lieu of appointing a sanity commission as provided in Paragraph A, may appoint the local mental health unit to examine and report on the mental condition of the defendant.  If the local mental health unit is ordered to conduct the examination, it shall form a clinical team, consisting of at least two but not more than three members, to conduct the examination.  The clinical team shall be composed of one or more licensed physicians with at least three years experience in the study of psychiatry in an approved United States General Psychiatry Residency Program; if only one such licensed physician is a member of the clinical team, the remaining members of the clinical team may be composed of clinical psychologists, medical psychologists, or licensed clinical social workers, who are qualified by training or experience in forensic evaluations.

(2)(a)  With respect to all other provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure in which the term "sanity commission" is designated, it shall also mean and include, for the exclusive purpose of this Article, a clinical team designated by the local health unit to conduct the examination of the defendant in accordance with this Paragraph.

(b)  "Local mental health unit" as used in this Paragraph shall mean a legislatively created Human Services Authority.

Acts 1975, No. 325, §1; Acts 1987, No. 577, §1; Acts 1990, No. 488, §1; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex. Sess., No. 67, §1, eff. July 7, 1994; Acts 1997, No. 1222, §1; Acts 1999, No. 1309, §10, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2009, No. 251, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2010.