(a) Upon the order of the court, a defendant undergoes a mental examination by a psychiatrist or other person medically or otherwise qualified to give an opinion of the defend-ant’s mental condition.
(b) Unless otherwise specified by the court, the scope of the examination pertains to wheth-er:
(1) the defendant is mentally competent to stand trial; and
(2) the defendant was sane at the time of the commission of the criminal act charged.History: 1979, PL 16-43 § 2.
The testimony of the government's expert may, in some circumstances, include statements made to him by a criminal defendant during the compelled examination, although the witness may testify only about the alleged mental disease or defect and not about "guilt or innocence" (i.e., about whether the defendant would be guilty in the absence of any such disease or defect). A.S.C.A. § 46.1304. American Samoa Gov't v. Taylor, 19 A.S.R.2d 99 (1991).
During the first phase of a bifurcated criminal trial involving the defense of diminished mental capacity, though necessarily concerned with the defendant's thoughts relevant to the charged offenses, the court limited both parties from addressing such questions by expert testimony from psychiatrists or psychologists or by other evidence calculated to show that defendant did or not have a mental disease or defect. A.S.C.A. §§ 46.1301-46.1302, 46.1304. American Samoa Gov't v. Taylor, 19 A.S.R.2d 99 (1991).
During the "guilt" phase of a bifurcated criminal trial, the government may not make any use of statements made by the defendant to the government's expert witness or of any evidence discovered as a result of such statements that would not ultimately have been discovered had the statements not been made, unless the defendant put a fact at issue which could only be effectively addressed by the otherwise-inadmissible evidence and if required in the interest of justice. A.S.C.A. §§ 46.1301-46.1302, 46.1304. American Samoa Gov't v. Taylor, 19 A.S.R.2d 99 (1991).
A criminal defendant who puts his mental capacity at issue may be compelled to submit to an examination by the government's expert, who may testify about his observations and conclusions. A.S.C.A. § 46.1304. American Samoa Gov't v. Taylor, 19 A.S.R.2d 99 (1991).
Research Guide: 15 ASC 7804.