Look in the Mirror

If “a person who represents himself has a fool for a client” can he claim ineffective assistance of counsel on appeal? According to this report that is the question Thomas Budnick raised before the Massachusetts Appeals Court on appeal of his conviction for assault with a dangerous weapon. His court-appointed lawyer argued that the trial judge should not have allowed Budnick to represent himself on charges of trying to poison his friend with nitric acid because of his demonstrated mental health problems. Among other things Budnick has asserted mining claims on Mars and Jupiter. (Thanks Jesse)

4 Replies to “Look in the Mirror”

  1. ppham

    First point: I’m surprised, or maybe even shocked, that he got himself out of poisoning his friend’s beer with nitric acid.

    Secondly, are courts allowed to force a court-appointed lawyer on you if you want to represent yourself? In this case, if he is suffering from mental health problems, who decides the validity of that? Was it the courts job to investigate his mental state and then proceed from there with appointing a lawyer?

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