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SCOTUS decides Indiana pro se case

January 1, 2008
The Supreme Court of the United States has found that a criminal defendant who's been declared competent to stand trial does not necessarily have the right to represent himself.

About 10 minutes into its public sitting that started at 10 a.m., the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 7-2 ruling in Indiana v. Edwards, No. 07-208.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote the opinion, with Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissenting. Opinions are typically posted on the high court's Web site within an hour of being issued.

This appeal culminates a case that began in July 1999 in downtown Indianapolis, where Edwards stole shoes from a store and shot at police while running away before being arrested. He was diagnosed as a schizophrenic and after years of back and forth decisions about his competency to stand trial, Edwards was ultimately cleared for trial. The trial judge determined he wasn't fit to represent himself, but Edwards won on appeal.

This story will be updated on the Indiana Lawyer Web site and in today's Indiana Lawyer Daily.
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