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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Ind. Decisions - More on SCOTUS decides Indiana v. Edwards

More on the opinion this morning by the U.S. Supreme Court reversing the Supreme Court of Indiana:

Joan Biskupic of USA TODAY, writing under the headline "Mentally ill defendants can be forced to use lawyers," reports in a story that begins:

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 today that states may require a mentally ill defendant who wants to conduct his own defense to accept the assistance of a lawyer.

The ruling reverses an Indiana Supreme Court decision that said a criminal defendant who is found sufficiently competent to stand trial must be allowed to invoke his Sixth Amendment right to self-representation.

Lyle Denniston of SCOTUSBlog has a very interesting analysis piece headed "Faretta survives, with limits." It begins
Lawyers for the state of Indiana, evidently believing they would get Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s vote, mounted a strong bid for the Supreme Court to overrule its 1975 decision in Faretta v. California — the decision that gave individuals on trial for a crime the right to act as their own defense lawyers, so long as they knew what they were getting themselves into. On Thursday, Indiana got its answer: the Court, in what probably represents a unanimous view, refused to overrule Faretta — and the main opinion in Indiana v. Edwards (07-208) was written by Justice Breyer.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 19, 2008 01:55 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions