Criminal Defendant and Self Representation

CriminalDefendant and Self Representation

CriminalDefendant and Self Representation

Selfrepresentation refers to a process by which a defendant present andargue his or her case before a court instead of being represented byan appointed attorney or lawyer. Mostly, a defendant opts torepresent himself or herself if the case is simple (Champion,Hartley, &amp Rabe 2012). In most cases, legal practice requiresspecial skills thus, most courts advice defendants from representingthemselves since they may be disadvantaged in a court of law.

Anexample of a case on self representation

Indianav. Edwards is a good case that shows the significant of selfrepresentation. Ahmad Edwards is the chief defendant in this case. Hewas arrested and charged with stealing shoes, shooting a storesecurity guard, FBI agent, and a bystander. The judge on this casecharged him for attempted murder he was put in a hung jury duringhis first trial. He appealed to the court and requested a chance torepresent himself during his retrial (Simon &amp Gold, 2010). Atfirst, his request was approved by the trail court however, it waslater overturned by the court, which argued that Edward was not in aposition to carry out a defense in a coherent manner. This wasbecause Edwards had filled irrelevant and rambling documents duringthe proceedings of his court. Later, Edwards made an appeal to theSupreme Court of Indiana and claimed that his right to selfrepresentation was violated by the trial court. Despite this, he wasdenied the chance to represent himself and was convicted of hiscrimes (Simon et al., 2010).

Myview on the case and self representation

Inmy opinion, the trial court had the right to deny Edwards the requestto represent himself. This is because he did not have the minimumability required to communicate with the judge and the jury. The lawrequires that any person who wishes to represent his or her own casebe capable of narrating his or her own story through examination ofwitnesses as well as through opening and closing arguments. When adefendant lacks such ability he or she waives his or her opportunityto a fair trial.


Champion,D. J., Hartley, R. D., &amp Rabe, G. A. (2012). Criminalcourts: Structure, process, and issues(3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Simon,R.I &amp Gold, L.H. (2010). TheAmerican Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Forensic Psychiatry.New York: American Psychiatric Pub.