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Friday, May 18, 2007

Ind. Decisions - More on: Supreme Court reverses attempted murder conviction

Re yesterday's Supreme Court decision in Ahmad Edwards v. State (see ILB entry here), here are quotes from an AP story which the Indianapolis Star has headlined "Schizophrenic can represent himself."

Anyone who is competent to stand trial has the right to represent himself in court -- even if a judge doesn't think he's capable, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled.

In a 10-page ruling Thursday, the high court set aside Ahmad Edwards' convictions on charges of attempted murder and battery and ordered Marion Superior Court to hold a new trial.

While a judge's determination that Edwards' schizophrenia made him incapable of defending himself seemed "at a minimum, reasonable," Justice Theodore Boehm wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that "competency to represent oneself at trial is measured by competency to stand trial."

Since Edwards was ruled competent to stand trial, his request for self-representation must be respected, the court held. * * *

Twice, Edwards was ruled not competent to stand trial after doctors who examined him determined he was mentally ill. But those decisions both were later reversed.

Eventually, in 2005, he was convicted and received a 30-year sentence on charges of attempted murder, battery with a deadly weapon, criminal recklessness and theft.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on May 18, 2007 07:48 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions