Friday, September 14, 2012

To Represent Yourself

My internet went down yesterday, which forced me to postpone today's planned post.  Here's a hint for what comes on Monday:

Another thing to look forward to Monday?  Remember when I was appointed as a special prosecutor in a different county?  Well, turns out the defendant wants to represent himself.  On Monday, the court will spend an hour questioning him to determine his capacity to do it.  I'd advise against it when the charges are robbery, burglary, kidnapping, and attempted murder.  The issue I find in defendants who wish to represent themselves is an arrogance and a perceived slight.  They eschew the advice of great attorneys because of a belief in their superior intelligence.  This will be the third time my adversary was the defendant himself in a serious case.

It usually happens when the defendant is unhappy with a court procedure, or a perceived miscarriage of justice.  They are upset the bail was not lowered, suppression was denied, or they now say they wanted to testify in the grand jury.  Their attorney tells them that what happened was legally correct, but they refuse to believe it.  In my last experiences, the defendant has focused so much on the issues that are unimportant to a trial that they've walked themselves into a conviction.  Although the evidence in those cases was overwhelming too. 

It will be an interesting way to start the week.

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