Pro Se Chicago's Weblog

October 26, 2008

More Info On Standby Counsel and Self-Representation (Pro Se & Faretta Rights)


The following proves that failure to do a “Faretta inquiry” by the court is reason to overturn a conviction, as is failure to allow a defendant to represent themselves.  See previous posts for more details. The following gives case law as to criteria to be used to decide if a court will appoint standby counsel.

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Case law is clear that the trial court has broad discretion to appoint counsel for advisory or other limited purposes and to determine the extent and nature of standby counsel’s involvement. People v. Redd, 173 Ill.2d 1, 38, 218 Ill.Dec. 861, 670 N.E.2d 583 (1996).

 

Standby counsel may be appointed to assist a pro se defendant “in overcoming routine procedural or evidentiary obstacles to the completion of some specific tasks, such as introducing evidence or objecting to testimony, that the defendant has clearly shown he wishes to complete” and may also help “ensure the defendant’s compliance with basic rules of courtroom protocol and procedure.” McKaskle v. Wiggins, 465 U.S. 168, 104 S.Ct. 944, 79 L.Ed2d 122 (1984).

 


“In deciding whether to appoint standby counsel, the court should consider the following criteria: ‘(1) the nature and gravity of the charge; (2) the expected factual and legal complexity of the proceedings; and (3) the abilities and experience of the defendant.’” People v. Mazur, 333 Ill.App.3d 244, 249, 266 Ill.Dec. 573, 775 N.E.2d 135,140(2002), quoting People v. Williams, 277 Ill.App.3d 1053, 1058, 214 Ill.Dec. 741, 661 N.E.2d 1186 (1996).

 

The Public Defender Act of Illinois permits appointment of a public defender to serve as standby counsel for accused who elects to represent himself in a criminal proceeding. Case law is clear that the trial court has broad discretion to appoint counsel for advisory or other limited purposes and to determine the extent and nature of standby counsel’s involvement. People v. Redd, 173 Ill.2d 1, 38, 218 Ill.Dec. 861, 670 N.E.2d 583 (1996).

 

 Standby counsel may be appointed to assist a pro se defendant “in overcoming routine procedural or evidentiary obstacles to the completion of some specific tasks, such as introducing evidence or objecting to testimony, that the defendant has clearly shown he wishes to complete” and may also help “ensure the defendant’s compliance with basic rules of courtroom protocol and procedure.” McKaskle v. Wiggins, 465 U.S. 168, 104 S.Ct. 944, 79 L.Ed2d 122 (1984).


“In deciding whether to appoint standby counsel, the court should consider the following criteria: ‘(1) the nature and gravity of the charge; (2) the expected factual and legal complexity of the proceedings; and (3) the abilities and experience of the defendant.’” People v. Mazur, 333 Ill.App.3d 244, 249, 266 Ill.Dec. 573, 775 N.E.2d 135,140(2002), quoting People v. Williams, 277 Ill.App.3d 1053, 1058, 214 Ill.Dec. 741, 661 N.E.2d 1186 (1996).

 

The Public Defender Act of Illinois permits appointment of a public defender to serve as standby counsel for accused who elects to represent himself in a criminal proceeding. People v. Gibson, 136 Ill.2d 362, 556 .N.E. 2d 226, 144 Ill.Dec. 759 (1990)., 136 Ill.2d 362, 556 .N.E. 2d 226, 144 Ill.Dec. 759 (1990).

 

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