U.S. allowed to join Indy case arguments

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2008
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The U.S. Supreme Court will allow the federal government to have a voice in arguments of an Indiana case later this month, testing the competency standards for pro se litigants in criminal cases.

On March 14, justices of the nation's highest court granted a motion from the U.S. Solicitor General to participate in arguments as amicus curiae in Indiana v. Ahmad Edwards, 07-208, set for 10 a.m. March 26.

At issue is what the Sixth Amendment dictates when determining whether someone found competent to stand trial is also competent to represent himself in criminal proceedings.

The 1999 case stems from an Indianapolis man who was arrested after stealing shoes from a downtown store, then shooting at police while running away. After years of being declared both not competent and competent to stand trial, he was ultimately cleared to be competent for trial, but a trial judge determined he wasn't fit to represent himself. The Indiana Supreme Court reversed that order and invited the U.S. Supreme Court review.

Washington, D.C., attorney Mark Stancil is lead attorney arguing for Edwards, taking over the reigns from Marion County Public Defender Agency attorney Michael Fisher who handled the state appellate proceedings. Indiana Solicitor General Tom Fisher is arguing for the state, and will share his time with the federal government.

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  1. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  4. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon