Loughner case: Judge allows access to psychologist's notes

Michael Kiefer reports:

The judge in Jared Loughner’s case ruled that prosecutors can have access to notes made by Loughner’s prison psychologist during her evaluations of his mental health.

The man charged in last year’s mass shootings near Tucson is undergoing restoration to competency at a federal hospital in Missouri. His attorney asked that federal prosecutors be denied access to psychologist Christina Pietz’s notes because of self-incriminating statements Loughner made in sessions with her.

But U.S. District Judge Larry Burns reasoned in a ruling Thursday that federal law allows the prosecution to view the notes because they have to do with competency, not guilt or innocence. The incriminating statements would not be allowed in trial, he wrote.

Read more on Arizona Republic.

I haven’t seen the ruling yet, but I’m curious as to whether the APA filed any brief on this issue as these notes are work product. And what was Loughner’s understanding of the confidentiality of those sessions at the time they were conducted? Was he told that the prosecution might obtain work product notes or was he assured confidentiality absent a duty to warn, etc.?


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