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Archive for Thursday, March 15, 2012

Man allowed to represent himself in court in assault case

March 15, 2012

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A Douglas County judge Wednesday allowed a 36-year-old Kansas City, Mo., man to represent himself in an aggravated assault case in Lawrence in which he’s accused of threatening a woman with a tree branch on Feb. 21.

According to Lawrence police, Corey M. Martin was arrested after he was accused of speaking aggressively to a woman about 5:20 a.m. that day in the 1000 block of Massachusetts Street while holding a large tree branch in a threatening manner.

Martin refuted the charges in court Wednesday, saying he had picked up the branch for protection because he had been the victim of an assault earlier. He said he believed he should face only misdemeanor trespassing charges instead of the felony aggravated assault charge.

“I’d rather stand up for myself and tell what’s true,” said Martin, who had been represented by an appointed attorney.

District Judge Paula Martin said Corey Martin had the right to defend himself in court without an attorney, although she said she didn’t believe it was in his best interest because he was not familiar with court rules of evidence and procedure. The judge scheduled a preliminary hearing for March 22.

Comments

Bob Forer 2 years, 6 months ago

In Faretta v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that the U.S. Constitution guaranteed the right of self-representation to one Anthony Faretta, a man accused of grand theft. In his dissent of the verdict, Justice Harry Blackmun famously wrote, "If there is any truth to the old proverb 'One who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client,' the court by its opinion today now bestows a constitutional right on one to make a fool of himself.

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Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 6 months ago

"The defendant who pleads their own case has a fool for a client, but at least there will be no problem with fee-splitting." - Anonymous

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Slowponder 2 years, 6 months ago

George,

Who gets to be his stand-by counsel? The court will not let him go it alone without some advisor.

This makes it really difficult for the prosecutor and the court. Does the prosecutor use some sharp tactic? Does the Court prevent the sharp tactic when the Defendabt fails to object?

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kernal 2 years, 6 months ago

A legal "advisor" would be an attorney and Mr. Martin has chosen to defend himself, so he will be on his own. The judge will advise Mr. Martin when he trips over court rules and procedures.

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littlexav 2 years, 6 months ago

No standby counsel. If the judge notices that the guy is really painting himself in a corner, she can confer with him. Otherwise, she'll be generally lenient during the hearings (but she can't make arguments for him and if the prosecutor objects [rules of evidence, etc.] she'll have to sustain them) and prosecutors typically go a little easier on pro se defendants as well (mainly because they don't have to be a shark to win against a pro se defendant, and if they try to it just looks bad).

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