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Fed. R. Crim. P. 12.2(a). Rule 12.2(a) provides in relevant part: If a defendant intends to rely upon the defense of insanity at the time of the alleged offense, the defendant shall, within the time provided for the filing of pretrial motions or at such later time as the court may direct, notify the attorney for the government in writing of such intention and file a copy of such notice with the clerk. A defendant who fails to comply with this provision may not raise insanity as a defense at trial without demonstrating 'cause' for the belated filing. Id.


If read literally, Rule 12.2(a) states that a defendant forfeits the right to assert an insanity defense only when a pretrial motion date passes without the filing of a notice of intent. Following this analysis to its logical end, if no pretrial motion date is set, no notice of intent, whenever filed, is untimely. Adopting this construction would subvert, rather then implement, the purpose of Rule 12.2(a).


The Advisory Committee Notes to Rule 12.2 make it clear that the objective of the notice requirement is 'to give the government time to prepare to meet the [insanity] issue, which ...

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