State v. Goff

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Defendant Megan Goff shot and killed her estranged husband. The State moved the trial court to order Goff to submit to a psychological examination, knowing that she planned to use battered women’s theory in her defense. The court held that a defendant’s right against self-incrimination is not violated when the court orders the defendant to submit to a psychiatric evaluation by a state expert in response to the defendant’s assertion of battered women’s syndrome. However, to preserve the right, the examination must be limited to information regarding battered women’s syndrome and “whether the defendant’s actions were affected by the syndrome.” In this case, the examination and testimony were not so limited; therefore, the court held that the defendant’s right against self-incrimination was violated. One of the State’s experts testified about inconsistencies in the defendant’s statements.



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