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Criminal Law Update

Attorney Jessie Juan Glenn. Offices in Charleston and Camden South Carolina.
Attorney Jessie Glenn gives his opinion on when an accused should be allowed to represent their self. The case decided in August, 2015 by the court of appeals can be found at http://www.judicial.state.sc.us/opinions/HTMLFiles/COA/5346.pdf
In my opinion, the judge hearing the argument(s) for a Defendant to represent their self has a difficult decision to make on their hands especially when taking into consideration the age of the accused. Here, the judge had he or she allowed the Defendant/accused to represent their self could of caused unneeded delays in the trial. Further, when the stakes are so high as in a murder trial, would it be wise for a young adult to represent their self? Most likely not. At times judges and attorneys try to protect a party to a case even if from their self.

Is there a time a Defendant should be allowed to represent their self? Have Defendants prevailed on cases where they did represent their self? Yes, is the answer to both of these questions. However, in a matter as serious as murder the decision to represent one’s self should most certainly not be taken to lightly especially with the young age of a Defendant.