Friday, July 23, 2010
Who's the Boss in a Criminal Defense Representation?
The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution as a practical matter guarantees criminal defendants the right to be represented by lawyers at their trials. In Faretta in Faretta v. California the defendant asked not to use a lawyer even though the trial judge insisted on one. The U.S. Supreme Court found the logic of this compelling. Then comes the kind of case exemplified by Scott Panetti who represented himself ramblingly while wearing a purple cowboy suit, frustrated because his trial subpoenas for the late John F. Kennedy, the pope, Anne Bancroft, and Jesus did not get his witnesses to court. University of Georgia law professor Erica J. Hashimoto argues in the latest issue of the Boston University Law Review-- the third of volume 90-- that proposed reforms of the rule in Faretta shouldn't take control of the defense from the defendant and give it all to the lawyer in the case.