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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:The jury found the appellant guilty of murder, and the court sentenced him to imprisonment for life. The appellant raised six complaints on appeal, one of which was that the trial court erred in overruling his statutory objection to the psychologist’s testimony about the report on incompetency. A divided court of appeals affirmed. An opinion for four members held: “During the course of the trial, this statement was admitted into testimony. However, the jury was aware that Mitten asserted a plea of insanity. Defense counsel commented on the plea of insanity during voir dire. Witnesses for the defense offered opinions regarding Mitten’s degree of sanity at the time of the murders. In [the psychologist]‘s comment, it is clear Mitten is simply expressing a desire that his insanity defense would be successful and that he would be released quickly. We find no implication of the issue of guilt or guilt by reason of insanity [sic] in this statement.” Three members of the court dissented on that point. HOLDING:Vacated and remanded. Section 3(g) of former Article 46.02 of the Code of Criminal Procedure said, “No statement made by the defendant during the examination or hearing on his competency to stand trial may be admitted in evidence against the defendant on the issue of guilt in any criminal proceeding.” The issue is whether the evidence was admitted “on the issue of guilt,” which the former statute forbade. (That statute now applies only to cases in which proceedings under the incompetency statute had “been initiated” before Jan. 1, 2004. The statute that took effect on that date says that a statement made by a defendant during an examination on incompetency “may not be admitted in evidence against the defendant in any criminal proceeding.” The term “on the issue of guilt” is not in the new statute.) The Penal Code says, “It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that, at the time of the conduct charged, the actor, as a result of severe mental disease or defect, did not know that his conduct was wrong.” As Article 46.03, 1(d) of the Code of Criminal Procedure says, “A defendant who has been found not guilty by reason of insanity shall stand acquitted of the offense charged and may not be considered a person charged with a criminal offense.” This is consonant with the “objectives” of the Penal Code, one of which is “to safeguard conduct that is without guilt from condemnation as criminal.” The issues of guilt are not limited to the elements of the crime. A person is not guilty, even though each element of the crime has been proved, if the finder of fact has a reasonable doubt about a defense that is raised by the evidence or finds by a preponderance of the evidence that an affirmative defense exists. These are issues of guilt. It was error to admit the appellant’s statement from the incompetency examination, in violation of former Article 46.02, 3(g). OPINION:Paul Womack, J., delivered the court’s opinion.

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