Supreme court puts limits on mentally ill defendants
Legal Topics | 2008/06/19 18:30
The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that criminal defendants with a history of mental illness do not always have the right to represent themselves, even if they have been judged competent to stand trial.

The justices, by a 7-2 vote, said states can give trial judges discretion to prevent someone from acting as his own lawyer if they are concerned that the trial could turn into a farce.

The decision comes in the case of an Indiana man who was convicted of attempted murder and other charges in 2005 for a shooting six years earlier at an Indianapolis department store.

Ahmad Edwards was initially found to be schizophrenic and suffering from delusions and spent most of the five years after the shooting in state psychiatric facilities. But by 2005, he was judged competent to stand trial.

Edwards asked to represent himself. A judge denied the request because he was concerned that Edwards' trial would not be fair. Edwards, represented by a lawyer, was convicted anyway and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

He appealed, and Indiana courts agreed that his right to represent himself had been violated, citing a U.S. high court decision from 1993. The courts overturned his conviction and ordered a new trial.

Thursday's ruling probably will lead to the reinstatement of the conviction.

"The Constitution permits states to insist upon representation by counsel for those competent enough to stand trial ... but who still suffer from severe mental illness to the point where they are not competent to conduct trial proceedings by themselves," Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in the majority opinion.

Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented. "In my view, the Constitution does not permit a state to substitute its own perception of fairness for the defendant's right to make his own case before the jury," Scalia said.



[PREV] [1] ..[2069][2070][2071][2072][2073][2074][2075][2076][2077].. [2198] [NEXT]
All
Headline Legal News
Legal Topics
Legal Business
Attorney News
Court News
Court Watch
Areas of Focus
Legal Interview
Opinions
DC-area sniper shootings case to ..
Supreme Court to consider Louisia..
Veterans court may be collateral ..
Justices spurn Georgia inmate, de..
Court to rule on Newtown shooting..
Detained Saudi women's rights act..
Ohio Republicans defending state ..
Case about indigent drivers and d..
Court rejects Ghosn’s request to..
Demonstrators gather for Heathrow..
Court: $700M judgment against Nor..
N Carolina court: State retirees ..
Oregon's high court: Developers c..
Court upholds car rental tax impo..
High court deciding fate of cross..
Court records reveal a Mueller re..
Florida school shooting suspect d..
French court hits Swiss bank UBS ..
Court: Constitutional ban on high..
High court rules for retired US m..




Santa Ana Workers' Compensation Lawyers
www.davidgentrylaw.com
Chicago Truck Drivers Lawyer
Chicago Workers' Comp Attorneys
www.krol-law.com
Bar Association Website Design
Bar Association Member Management
www.lawpromo.com
Indianapolis, IN Personal Injury Law Firm
Indian Personal Injury Attorneys
www.rwp-law.com
Downtown Manhattan Business Law Attorneys
Breach of Contract Lawyers
www.woodslaw.com
San Francisco Trademark Lawyer
San Francisco Copyright Lawyer
www.onulawfirm.com
Lorain Elyria Divorce Lawyer
www.loraindivorceattorney.com
Chicago Business Law Attorney
Corporate Litigation Attorneys
www.rothlawgroup.com
Surry County Criminal Defense Lawyers
Yadkin County Family Law Attorneys
www.dirussolaw.com
Connecticut Special Education Lawyer
www.fortelawgroup.com
Law Firm Web Design Templates
Lawyer Website Templates
www.webpromo.com
   Legal Resource
Headline Legal News for You to Reach America's Best Legal Professionals. The latest legal news and information - Law Firm, Lawyer and Legal Professional news in the Media.
 
 
 
Copyright © ClickTheLaw.com. All Rights Reserved. Legal Marketing Blog. The content contained on the web site has been prepared by Click The Law. as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance. By using the www.clickthelaw.com you agree to be bound by these Terms & Conditions.

Affordable Legal Web Designby Law Promo