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judge imposed no-lawyer trial ends with 20-years-to-life sentence

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posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 06:11 AM
This story is poorly written, I found another with a little more detail.

It's not like Williams didn't have an attorney after he was arrested. He's had several. But in each case, he's either fired them or grieved them. So the judge said enough and told Williams he'd have to represent himself at his trial. But as the trial got underway this week, Williams became disruptive and was removed from the courtroom, leaving the defense table empty.

Harrigan said, “The judge has brought him in both days to begin the trial and at both times he's chosen through is own actions or his own voice that he does not wish to be at the proceeding."

One by one, witnesses were called to the stand and questioned by the prosecution with no objections or cross-examinations.

District Attorney Mike Green says he is unaware of any cases in Monroe County that have gone to trial in the past without anyone present on behalf of the defense.

Green says it's not a scenario they wanted and will likely be an issue brought up on appeal but added he thinks the judge was left with no other option.

Our choices have consequences.

Now, it would seem that 1.) he was given ample opportunity to have counsel but continually chose to be abusive to them. The judge, then, within his legal authority, decided that he would defend himself. Although the article does not go into this aspect, I would expect that he would have been given a couple of warnings that this would happen and that it was his choice to self-defend.

2.) It would also seem that he was given the opportunity to stay in the courtroom but chose, instead, to be disruptive, knowing full well that he would be thrown out. The judge brought him into the courtroom both days of the trial with the warning that he would be thrown out if he disrupted the courtroom. He chose to be thrown out.

HIS choices, not the judge's put him in this situation... he just thought he was smarter than everyone else and that he had figured out a way to get off or at least protract the trial. Remember, that there is a mandate for a "speedy trial" as well as "order in the courtroom". His actions were his own and his consequences are his to bear.

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 08:41 AM
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman

The judge, then, within his legal authority, decided that he would defend himself.

Does a judge have this authority? Also what if his continued grievances were legitimate? And even if his weren't, if it becomes acceptable to have a trial without the accused or his representation what happens if others do have a legitimate grievance against their council? Are they at risk for being forced to represent themselves?

I am not sure if I am comfortable with the courts having the privilege to have a trial without the accused or his council. They need to find another solution.

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 09:32 AM
It's not that the judge "decided" to not allow the guy to have a lawyer, the guy decided he didn't want a lawyer. Judges are very careful about individuals representing themselves and advise them often against it to prevent overturning of their decisions. A person has the right to not be represented if they do not want representation also and it usually turns out poorly. Now, if it turns out that the judge decided on his own to not allow this guy to have a lawyer then, yes, the judge is wrong. But I'm sure you will find out it was not the case.

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 09:37 AM
reply to post by Goshma

Well I wasn't there and therefore am only going off the story. However here is what the article states:

...told Williams he'd have to represent himself at his trial.

[edit on 22-1-2010 by harvib]

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 09:57 AM

Originally posted by In nothing we trust

Originally posted by Dramey

however this judge wont allow the defendant to have a lawyer

the judge makes him defend himself

then when the judge throws the defendant out of court, he proceeds in sentencing a man who has absolutely no representation and is not even present

Here's the solution.

It would save the taxpayers lots of money.

[edit on 21-1-2010 by In nothing we trust]

I guess you won't change your mind until the day that you are the guy in the picture without the gun....they will change your mind for you in an instant.

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 06:44 PM
need to respond to a few points

since when in US courts does the judge have the right to tell you, you have to defend yourself?

thats one ive never heard of , and without physical proof, i cannot believe that a judge has that power in our country

to those saying the man chose to be thrown out, you have to be joking, the man didnt throw himself out, the judge threw him out

on top of that, who are we, or who is the judge, to judge whether or not his grievances were legitimate or not

a grievance is a grievance and people are entitled to be defended in a way they see fit

like another poster said, according to the articles available, which is the only information we have, the judge made him represent himself

the guy never decided he didnt want a lawyer, he just decided he had issues with the ones he was appointed

from personal experiences in dealing with public defenders, i find it highly believable a person had an issue with one, many of them are overworked, and many to be honest simply dont care, id like to use stronger terms but they would be censored

from my experience, they are not really interested in justice as their number 1 priority, but more often then not solely concentrate on how fast they can finish one case and move on to the next, even if it means forcing an innocent person to take a plea because they dont want to spend the time fighting the charge

addressing what another poster wrote, "he chose to be abusive to his lawyers"

i have not read anywhere the man was abusive to his lawyers, and even if he was, that is not grounds to make him defend himself, or continue the trial without him

he could physically assault a lawyer in court and still be entitled to the representation that this judge stripped from him

to directly respond to iamhuman, i respect your position and many of your posts here on ats, but i must disagree with you here.

it wasnt his choices that created the situation, but rather the judges choices

i look at the situation by putting myself in the defendants shoes

what would i do if i wasnt happy with my lawyer?
what would i do/how would i act if i felt i was being screwed in some way or not receiving my rights in some way?

i would complain about my lawyer and try to get a new one (which is what the man did until the judge made him represent himself)

i would act "disruptive" out of frustration and anger at being handed a raw deal figuratively speaking

i look to the fairly recent hbo show on john adams, it had some scenes in which he defended the british involved in the boston massacre, the people wanted an open and shut case, he knew justice needed to prevail and everyone needs representation and a fair trial

i also know the d.a.'s reputation in the community, and that mike green isnt exactly known around here for always playing by the rules

simply put in my opinion a true travesty took place in the courts that day, justice was mocked and this put a serious black eye on our nation, im just shocked there isnt more outrage from people who are seeing what is happening to our justice system

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 08:52 PM

Originally posted by CaptChaos

Originally posted by In nothing we trust

Here's the solution.

It would save the taxpayers lots of money.

I guess you won't change your mind until the day that you are the guy in the picture without the gun....they will change your mind for you in an instant.

I'm a believer but I believe in hedging my bet.

The house always wins.

I will meet my death on my feet, not on my knees.

I fight for my children.

1 Corinthians 15:4
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

The men who believed in Jesus' Resurrection from the dead, known today as Christ's Disciples, certainly had their testimony, as well as their convictions, tested by those who disbelieved. With the exception of John, every one of these men were put to death. These deaths were excruciating and merciless. More so were their lives, as these men were persecuted by the secular world and suffered great hardship for the spreading of their beloved Gospel, which they proclaimed.

[edit on 22-1-2010 by In nothing we trust]

posted on Jan, 22 2010 @ 10:30 PM
to be truthful i respect all religious beliefs, unless they are extremist

with that said, id like to just comment to keep the thread on topic

this really isnt a thread about religion in any way

its about the american justice system which is supposed to have separation of church and state

none of this is about religion, economy, or money in any way

its about justice, true justice in a supposedly free country

what took place in that court room does not represent justice in a free country, it represents justice in a dictatorship, something america has been accused of being since bush took office and 9/11 happened

some can call it a fluke, something that is rare, a mistake that will be overturned, some can say it saves money, we can say a lot of things, but one thing we cant say is that it was american justice

maybe in some new twisted sense of the phrase this is now american justice, but this is not the way it was designed to be, and i know this isnt the type of justice any of us truly want

i firmly believe without a shadow of a doubt that we would all want a fair trial if we were charged with a crime

to expect anyone else to settle for less, itself, should be a crime, and i believe it actually is a crime to prevent justice

further investigation is needed and i truly believe the judge should be reprimanded or punished in some way

this story needs more attention, this is something that can happen to any of us, especially now that it has happened to 1

right now we fight wars on terrorism across the globe, we wish to push our way of freedom on oppressed nations, however what took place in that court was not freedom nor was it justice, it wasnt just a crime against a felon or a persistent criminal, it was a crime against our nation, against an idea, against a way of life that millions have fought and died for since the birth of this nation

maybe this time the guy was a horrible guy and he got what he deserved, but what about next time it happens when the guy is actually innocent?

[edit on 22-1-2010 by Dramey]

i previously referenced the john adams show on hbo where they showed him helping the red coats in their defense at the boston massacre, if they deserve a fair trial, everyone else does

how do we think our fore fathers would feel if they witnessed what happened taking place in an american courtroom that they built?

[edit on 22-1-2010 by Dramey]

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