University of Miami Law Review


Lori Ann Weiner


In this casenote, the author critically examines the recent decision of Smith v. Estelle, in which the Fifth Circuit used a dual rationale for vacating a death sentence. The court held that Texas violated the defendant's due process rights by producing a surprise psychiatric witness at sentencing. The court held also that the defendant had a fifth amendment right to refuse a court-compelled psychiatric examination because he had not waived that right by raising an insanity defense. Discussing this decision in the context of the constitutionality of death sentencing procedures, the author argues that the Supreme Court should uphold both the due process rationale and the broader fifth amendment rationale.