United States District Court, E.D. New York
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
L. IRIZARRY, Chief United States District Judge
November 8, 2016, defendant Ronald Williams
(“Williams”) filed a pretrial motion seeking an
order, pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure
12.2(c)(1) and 18 U.S.C. § 4241, compelling his
codefendant Leon Campbell (“Campbell”)
(hereinafter collectively, “Defendants”) to
undergo a criminal responsibility examination. See
Mem. of Law in Supp. of Pretrial Mot. for a Crim. Resp. Exam.
of Leon Campbell on Behalf of Def. Ronald Williams
(“Williams Mot.”), Dkt. Entry No. 245. Both the
United States and Campbell oppose the request. See
Ltr. in Opp. to Ronald Williams' Mot. (“Campbell
Opp.”), Dkt. Entry No. 250; Mem. of Law Opp'g Def.
Ronald Williams' Mot. Req'g a Crim. Resp. Exam. of
Leon Campbell (“Gov't Opp.”), Dkt. Entry No.
251. The matter was fully submitted upon the submission of
Williams' reply papers. See Reply Mem. in Supp.
of Pretrial Mot. for a Crim. Resp. Exam. of Leon Campbell on
Behalf of Def. Ronald Williams (“Williams
Reply”), Dkt. Entry No. 252.
reasons set forth below, Williams' motion is denied.
motion stems from four charges in the Superseding Indictment
that allege Defendants participated in: (1) a conspiracy to
distribute marijuana, in violation of 21 U.S.C. §§
846 and 841(b)(1)(C); (2) a conspiracy to commit obstruction
of justice murder, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§
1512(k) and 1512(a)(3)(B)(i); (3) a conspiracy to commit
murder-for-hire, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1958(a);
and (4) a conspiracy to commit a Hobbs Act robbery, in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1951(a). See
Superseding Ind., Dkt. Entry No. 141 at ¶¶ 1-3, 7.
The Supreme Court “has repeatedly said that the essence
of a conspiracy is an agreement to commit an unlawful
act.” United States v. Jimenez Recio, 537 U.S.
270, 274 (2003) (internal citations and quotation marks
omitted). Conspiracies are crimes of specific intent and, as
such, a conviction requires that “the [G]overnment
establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant had
the specific intent to violate the substantive
statute, ” and form an agreement with at least one
other person to do so. United States v. Hassan, 578
F.3d 108, 123 (2d Cir. 2008) (citing United States v.
DiTommaso, 817 U.S. 201, 218 (2d Cir. 1987)) (emphasis
claims that the proposed examination is crucial to his
defense against the four conspiracy charges because, if he
could establish that Campbell lacked the mental capacity to
enter into agreements at the times of the alleged offenses,
no conspiracies would exist. Williams Mot. at 6. Williams
asserts that “[t]he only question . . . is whether this
Court may order” Campbell to undergo a criminal
responsibility examination, against his will and his
counsel's advice, so that Williams may advance his
defense. Id. at 3-5. The Court finds that, under the
circumstances of this case, it may not enter such an order.
arguments derive from the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure
and associated statutes. Although Williams readily
acknowledges that no precedent exists to support his
argument, he asserts that Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure
12.2(c)(1) and 18 U.S.C. §§ 4241 (“§
4241”), 4242 (“§4242”) grant courts,
in spirit, if not in practice, the authority to compel any
defendant to undergo a criminal responsibility examination
against his or her will. Id. at 2-5. While these
provisions “contemplate a defendant filing notice of a
psychiatric defense, and the court ordering the defendant to
be examined in conjunction with that defense, at the behest
of the [G]overnment, ” Williams maintains that the
Court should grant his application because he stands in a
position equivalent to that of the Government in the
contemplated scenario. Id. at 4. In opposition, the
Government correctly notes that “no court has ever
ordered a 4242 Exam under similar circumstances.”
Gov't Opp. at 3.
initial matter, Williams' motion is made solely pursuant
to § 4241. Reliance on this statute is completely
misplaced, as the Court previously noted at an oral argument
on this motion.That statute concerns the mental capacity
to stand trial and undergo post-release proceedings. See
United States v. Bumagin, 114 F.Supp.3d 52, 55-56
(E.D.N.Y. 2015); United States v. Shenghur, 734
F.Supp.2d 552, 553 (S.D.N.Y. 2010); see also United
States v. Hutchinson, 253 F. App'x 883 (11th Cir.
2007) (results of tests performed to determine a
defendant's competence to stand trial were inadmissible
to negate that defendant's specific intent to enter into
a conspiracy). For an examination of a defendant's
cognitive abilities at the time of the alleged offense, the
governing statute is 18 U.S.C. § 4242.
that Williams intended to move under the applicable statute,
the language of the operative law and rule is clear and
unambiguous: the examination pertains to a defendant
challenging his or her own mental capacity at the
time the offense was committed. The Court so noted this at
the August 11, 2016 conference. See Aug. 11, 2016
Tr. at 17-18 (finding that § 4242 and Rule 12.2 clearly
are intended to apply to the defendant raising the defense).
In the interest of justice and due process, the Court
nonetheless granted Williams the opportunity to analyze the
issue and present his arguments by written motion. As
discussed more fully below, the Court remains unpersuaded
that § 4242 permits the examination of a codefendant, as
requested by Williams, for the purpose of determining whether
that codefendant had the ability to enter into a criminal
in order to invoke an examination under § 4242, Federal
Rule of Criminal Procedure 12.2(c)(1)(B) provides:
If the defendant provides notice under Rule 12.2(a), the
court must, upon the government's motion, order the
defendant to be examined under 18 U.S.C. § 4242.
recognizes the applicability of Rule 12.2(c)(1)(B), as he
asserts that his memorandum of law constitutes the
“formal notice” required by Rule
12.2(a). Williams Mot. at 2. Incorporating the
condition precedent of proper notice under Rule 12.2, §
Upon the filing of a notice, as provided in Rule 12.2 of the
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, that the defendant
intends to rely on the defense of insanity, the court, upon
motion of the attorney for the Government, shall order that a
psychiatric or psychological examination of the defendant be
conducted, and that a psychiatric or psychological ...