Friday, July 9, 2010

A man who represents himself has a fool for a client.

Here is today's West Headnote of the Day. This reminds me of a good story from law school:

Evidence at a preliminary hearing that the accused asked the witness "How do you know it was me when I had a handkerchief over my face?" was properly admitted at trial for robbery as an admission. Nance v. United States, 299 F.2d 122 (D.C. Cir. 1962)
When I was at NIU, I worked at the DeKalb County State's Attorney's Office as a Rule 711 intern. I spent about half of my time in the felony division preparing for a murder trial. That case did not go to trial until after I graduated, passed the bar, and was working in private practice. But I still followed the case pretty closely in the newspaper.

The defendant fired several lawyers leading up to trial. The judge eventually allowed him to represent himself. He didn't do too bad, I guess, throughout the course of the trial, but he really blew it during closing arguments.

He stood before the jury and asked them "Please, please do not convict me of these crimes that I have committed."


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