This decision has already led to some interesting legal maneuvers and awkward exchanges at court.
New York man accused in Jan. 6 insurrection is attempting to invoice the government for his work on his case. A Pennsylvania restaurant owner wants to avoid jail. A judge in New York said that he might have been incriminated during courtroom arguments.
Constitutional principle number one is the right to self-representation. A long-serving judge advised a former California police chief to use an old saying when he said that he would be "a fool for his client" if he represented himself.
Michael Magner, a New Orleans criminal defense attorney and ex-federal prosecutor, said, "Just because you have the constitutional right to do it doesn't necessarily make it smart."
At least five defendants will decide to defend themselves. This is bound to present a lot of problems, especially for those behind bars. If they make a mistake in court, they could be in even more trouble. They will have to sort through the mountains of evidenceinvestigators gathered during the attack. The strategy already tests judges' ability maintain control over their courtrooms.
Alan Hostetter was told by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth that he would not allow him to represent himself if he were charged with a crime. He then allowed him to defend himself against riot charges. The ex-police chief was warned by the judge that he had never seen anyone successfully represent themselves since his 1987 appointment to the bench.
In June , Hostetter and five other men were arrested on charges of conspiring to prevent Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential elections. Four of Hostetter’s co-defendants are linked to the Three Percenters militia wing.
After more than 20 years of service as an officer, Hostetter started teaching yoga. Lamberth told him that the "corruption in this investigation" was one reason why he wanted to represent himself. He also had financial issues.