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275 Words


Option 1: Right to Counsel Presentation

Determining the right to counsel depends on the circumstances of a case. For this assignment, you have three options to choose from to demonstrate what you have learned about the right to counsel.

Option 3: Right to Counsel Article

• The aspects of right to counsel for the cases
• How the historical development of right to counsel relates to the cases
• When the right to counsel attaches to criminal procedure for the cases
• Whether the defendants in the cases exercised their right to self-representation
• The role of the attorneys in the cases as it applies to right to counsel

The aspects of right to counsel for the cases

When the right to counsel attaches to criminal procedure for the cases

The main issue in the Powell v. Alabama case was the violation of the defendants’ due process rights by being denied the right to proper legal representation. Although it was argued that the presiding judge in Alabama had appointed the bar to represent the defendants, Justice Sunderland faulted the appointments by asserting that the right to counsel was not complete because the attorneys representing them failed to meet the threshold of providing consultation and working with the defendants to prepare for the case (Zalman, 2001).

The Powell v. Alabama case came before the US Supreme Court to appeal against the ruling held by the Alabama Court, which convicted eight African-American teens of rape. The accused persons were sentenced to death. The teens were saved from execution by stays of execution, commutations, and appeals. One year later, Justice George Sutherland of the US Supreme Court made a landmark reversing the convictions and ordering that the cases be retried. The judge in his ruling held the Alabama Court had violated the defendants’ rights to due process (Zalman, 2001).

The aspects of right to counsel for the case

The role of the attorneys in the cases as it applies to right to counsel

The Sixth Amendment comes into force after formal charges have been filed against a suspect. The right to counsel is applicable after the commencement of court proceedings against the accused. The defendant is set to be confronted by the plaintiff and a state officer who is the judge and adequate representation is necessary. The trial, which is part of the criminal procedures in case, is an important part of the enactment of the right to counsel. This may involve identification processes, preliminary hearings, and arraignment of the defendant in court (Siegel & Senna, 2009). In all these situations, an attorney should be present to protect the rights of the defendant. In any negotiations that may take place involving the defendant, the attorney must also be present. In addition, the right to counsel extends to the sentencing process and appeal cases involving the defendant. The right to counsel may also be provided in cases where the accused is being tested for mental capacity and other tests. The right to counsel also extends to juveniles who are involved in criminal proceedings. However, most states do not allow juveniles to relinquish their right to counsel before any consultations with an attorney.

The Sixth Amendment also provides for the rights of a person to represent himself in criminal proceedings. This is called self-representation or representation (Acker & Brody, 2004). The accused person has the right to refuse representation by an attorney and choose to represent himself. However, the court can deny such a request on the basis that the accused is not competent enough to represent himself adequately. The court should inform the accused adequately of the advantages and disadvantages of self-representation. The accused must show that he has adequate knowledge of the legal process to represent himself. In addition, the accused must inform the court of his decision in the right manner and time. This means that an accused person may be denied this right if he does not request for it at the required time. In addition, a court may stop self-representation due to inadequacy and appoint a legal attorney to act on behalf of the accused. On the other hand, self-representation cannot be applied in a court of appeal.

How the historical development of right to counsel relates to the case
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When the right to counsel attaches to criminal procedure for the case

The Supreme Court concluded that the co-defendants were not properly represented because the ruling violated the defendants’ rights to counsel. First, the defendants were not allowed an opportunity to select legal counsel of their own choice. Second, the lawyers appointed by the trial judge did not commit themselves to ensuring fair trial for the defendants. The Supreme Court had that the appointed lawyers only took up the cases on the hearing days. These lawyers neither did preliminary investigations into the facts of the case nor accorded the defendants a right to be heard (Acker, 2008).

The role of an attorney in the case as it applies to right to counsel

The trial judge did not appoint a single lawyer to represent any or all of the defendants. Instead, the judge appointed “all members of the bar” for the purpose of arraigning the defendants. This meant that any member of the bar that was available in court could stand in defence of the defendant regardless of the level of preparation. The counsel available to the defendants was inadequate to the extent that the lawyers did not give audience to the defendants in the run up to the cases.

The aspects of right to counsel for the cases

The right to counsel is embedded in the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. It constitutes the rights of every person to receive the assistance of a legal attorney during trial. The lawyer can be hired by the person being prosecuted and if he does not have the financial power, the state shall assign one to him. The attorneys who are appointed by the state must provide efficient and adequate representation (Acker & Brody, 2004). The court can ignore the decision reached based on the incompetence of an attorney. A case in a court of law cannot proceed if a person is not represented by a recognized defense attorney.

The post Right to Counsel appeared first on Essaysholic.

Justice Sutherland and the Court held that the claim that the defendants were accorded legal representation was an affront to the ideal of a fair trial that is often directed by a dedicated lawyer or attorney. The Justice held that the lawyers owed the defendants the right to be heard by counsel in the run up to the trial. These facts led the US Supreme Court to rule that the Fourteenth Amendment due process rights of the defendants were broken and as thus ordered a retrial of the cases.

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