Counsel Cannot Be Forced On A Defendant

1975

In Faretta v. California, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that although the Sixth Amendment requires appointment of counsel for those who cannot afford one, it does not allow a state to force a defendant to accept an attorney if he wishes to represent himself. As long as the defendant shows that he is literate, competent, and understands the effects of choosing to give up the right to have an attorney appointed, the Court finds that the Constitution allows self-representation. After all, the Court notes, the Constitution protects the rights of the defendant, not the attorney.