NPR logo

Supreme Court Rules in Sanity Case

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/91703621/91703594" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Supreme Court Rules in Sanity Case

Law

Supreme Court Rules in Sanity Case

Supreme Court Rules in Sanity Case

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/91703621/91703594" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that even if a criminal defendant is mentally competent to stand trial, he might not have the right to act as his own lawyer.

The court ruled in the case of a man in Indianapolis who suffered from schizophrenia, and was convicted of attempted murder and other charges. He challenged his conviction on the grounds the judge violated his right to self-representation.

Indiana appeals courts agreed with him, but on Thursday the Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that states can give the trial judge the authority to block someone from acting as his own lawyer.