Should the Supreme Court take away our right to represent ourselves in court?

The Supreme Court just ruled 7-2 that a trial court judge can decide if you can represent yourself in a court of law.

Though I agree that this guy should not represent himself because of mental defect, the first step is making peramiters for the removal of a constutional right. This opens the door for other qulifications for disallowing this or other rights. The High Court needs to tread lightly.

Post Author: mark

4 thoughts on “Should the Supreme Court take away our right to represent ourselves in court?

    sir_jell_o

    (January 28, 2010 - 5:39 pm)

    You are clearly misrepresenting their decision. Yes, the trial judge can decide this, but the judge can only let you go without an attorney if you have made a knowing, voluntary, and intelligent waiver of your right to counsel.

    Also, I hate to have a fool for a client. It happens sometimes, but it can be frustrating.
    References :

    rickinnocal

    (January 28, 2010 - 6:15 pm)

    They ruled no such thing.

    What they said was that a mentally ill defendant may be required by a trial judge to accept the assistance of a court appointed attorney in carrying out his own defense.

    The mentally ill defendant may still represent himself, but SCOTUS ruled that the trial court has the authority to require him to be assisted by a lawyer who can explain legal issues etc to him.

    Writing for the majority, Justice Stephen Breyer said, "In our view, a right to self-representation at trial will not affirm the dignity of a defendant who lacks the mental capacity to conduct his defense without the assistance of counsel."

    Richard
    References :

    Greshnab

    (January 28, 2010 - 6:53 pm)

    did you read the case involved??
    "Referring to the lengthy record of psychiatric reports,
    the trial court noted that Edwards suffered from schizophrenia
    and concluded that, although it appeared he was competent to stand
    trial, he was not competent to defend himself at trial"

    i have to agree with them on this.. if in the courts opinion you are not CAPABLE of providing an adequate legal defense of yourself.. you have to have a lawyer!
    References :

    Chris B

    (January 28, 2010 - 7:26 pm)

    Though I agree that this guy should not represent himself because of mental defect, the first step is making peramiters for the removal of a constutional right. This opens the door for other qulifications for disallowing this or other rights. The High Court needs to tread lightly.
    References :

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