N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 220.15

Current through 2020 NY Law Chapter 272
Section 220.15 - Plea; plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect
1. The defendant may, with both the permission of the court and the consent of the people, enter a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect to the entire indictment. The district attorney must state to the court either orally on the record or in a writing filed with the court that the people consent to the entry of such plea and that the people are satisfied that the affirmative defense of lack of criminal responsibility by reason of mental disease or defect would be proven by the defendant at a trial by a preponderance of the evidence. The district attorney must further state to the court in detail the evidence available to the people with respect to the offense or offenses charged in the indictment, including all psychiatric evidence available or known to the people. If necessary, the court may conduct a hearing before accepting such plea. The district attorney must further state to the court the reasons for recommending such plea. The reasons shall be stated in detail and not in conclusory terms.
2. Counsel for the defendant must state that in his opinion defendant has the capacity to understand the proceedings and to assist in his own defense and that the defendant understands the consequences of a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect. Counsel for the defendant must further state whether in his opinion defendant has any viable defense to the offense or offenses charged in the indictment other than the affirmative defense of lack of criminal responsibility by reason of mental disease or defect. Counsel for the defendant must further state in detail the psychiatric evidence available to the defendant with respect to such latter affirmative defense.
3. Before accepting a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect, the court must address the defendant in open court and determine that he understands each of the following:
(a) The nature of the charge to which the plea is offered, and the consequences of such plea;
(b) That he has the right to plead not guilty or to persist in that plea if it has already been entered;
(c) That he has the right to be tried by a jury, the right to the assistance of counsel, the right to confront and cross-examine witnesses against him, and the right not to be compelled to incriminate himself;
(d) That if he pleads not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect there will be no trial with respect to the charges contained in the indictment, so that by offering such plea he waives the right to such trial;
(e) That if he pleads not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect the court will ask him questions about the offense or offenses charged in the indictment and that he will thereby waive his right not to be compelled to incriminate himself; and
(f) That the acceptance of a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect is the equivalent of a verdict of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect after trial.
4. The court shall not accept a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect without first determining that there is a factual basis for such plea. The court must address the defendant personally in open court and determine that the plea is voluntary, knowingly made, and not the result of force, threats, or promises. The court must inquire whether the defendant's willingness to plead results from prior discussions between the district attorney and counsel for the defendant. The court must be satisfied that the defendant understands the proceedings against him, has sufficient capacity to assist in his own defense and understands the consequences of a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect. The court may make such inquiry as it deems necessary or appropriate for the purpose of making the determinations required by this section.
5. Before accepting a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect, the court must find and state each of the following on the record in detail and not in conclusory terms:
(a) That it is satisfied that each element of the offense or offenses charged in the indictment would be established beyond a reasonable doubt at a trial;
(b) That the affirmative defense of lack of criminal responsibility by reason of mental disease or defect would be proven by the defendant at a trial by a preponderance of the evidence;
(c) That the defendant has the capacity to understand the proceedings against him and to assist in his own defense;
(d) That such plea by the defendant is knowingly and voluntarily made and that there is a factual basis for the plea;
(e) That the acceptance of such plea is required in the interest of the public in the effective administration of justice.
6. When a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect is accepted by the court and recorded upon the minutes, the provisions of section 330.20 of this chapter shall govern all subsequent proceedings against the defendant.

N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law § 220.15