for Special Action from the Superior Court in Maricopa County
No. CR2013-102236-002 The Honorable Hugh E. Hegyi, Judge
Maricopa County Attorney's Office, Phoenix By Jeffrey R.
Duvendack Counsel for Petitioner
Blumenreich Law Firm PLLC, Phoenix By Joshua Blumenreich
Ballecer & Segal, LLP, Phoenix By Natalee Segal
Co-Counsel for Real Party in Interest
Maurice Portley delivered the Opinion of the Court, in which
Presiding Judge Jon W. Thompson and Judge Patricia K. Norris
In this special action we are asked to determine whether the
superior court should have granted the State's motion
seeking disclosure of unredacted mental-health evaluations of
the Real Party in Interest, Josh Rasmussen, who has raised a
"guilty except insane" defense under Arizona
Revised Statutes ("A.R.S.") section 13-502 (2010).
Because this legal issue is of statewide importance, we
accept jurisdiction, and grant relief.
Rasmussen and two co-defendants are charged with armed
robbery and first-degree murder. Rasmussen hired John A.
Moran, Ph.D., to evaluate his mental-health status. After the
evaluation which questioned his sanity, Rasmussen began
exploring a guilty-except-insane defense.
The State raised concerns about the Moran diagnosis, and
Rasmussen agreed to be evaluated by a court-appointed
psychologist. The superior court appointed D.J. Gaughan,
Ph.D., to perform the evaluation. After the evaluation, Dr.
Gaughan agreed Rasmussen met the guilty except insane
criteria. Rasmussen, upon request, provided a copy of both
doctors' notes and data to the State, but redacted
statements he made to both psychologists.
The State then moved to compel disclosure of Rasmussen's
redacted statements, arguing disclosure was required because
he had raised the guilty-except-insane defense under A.R.S.
§§ 13-502, -3993(D) (2010), -4508(B) (2010), and
Arizona Rule of Criminal Procedure ("Rule")
11.7(a). Relying on Austin v. Alfred, 163 Ariz. 397,
788 P.2d 130 (App. 1990), Rasmussen successfully argued he
was only required to produce copies of the doctors'
records with his statements redacted. This special action
Our decision to accept special action jurisdiction is
"highly discretionary." State ex rel. Romley v.
Fields,201 Ariz. 321, 323, ¶ 4, 35 P.3d 82, 84
(App. 2001). Special action jurisdiction is appropriate when
no "equally plain, speedy, and adequate remedy by
appeal" exists, Ariz. R.P. Spec. Act. 1(a), or when the
issue involves a matter of first impression, statewide
significance, or pure questions of law. Romley, 201
Ariz. at 323, ¶ 4, 35 P.3d at 84 (citation omitted).
Because the issue of whether a defendant who raises a
guilty-except-insane defense has ...