Democracy Dies in Darkness Sections Home Try 1 month for $1 Username Sign In Account Profile Newsletters & Alerts Gift Subscriptions Contact Us Help Desk Subscribe Account Profile Newsletters & Alerts Gift Subscriptions Contact Us Help Desk Accessibility for screenreader Courts & Law (Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post) by Robert Barnes by Robert Barnes Email the author May 14 at 5:11 PM Email the author A lawyer cannot tell a jury that his client is guilty without the defendant’s consent, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, no matter whether the evidence of guilt is overwhelming or that it would be a good legal strategy. Such a decision belongs to the accused alone, the court ruled in a 6-to-3 decision written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. [Can a lawyer concede his client’s guilt when the defendant claims innocence?] “With individual liberty — and, in capital cases, life — at stake, it is the defendant’s prerogative, not counsel’s, to decide on the objective of his defense: to admit guilt in the hope of gaining mercy at the sentencing stage, or to maintain his innocence, leaving it to the state to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt,” Ginsburg wrote. Robert L. McCoy, convicted of… Read full this story
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