Tuesday, April 08, 2014

United States v. French, No. 12-10185 (4-7-14)(Nguyen with Fisher; Noonan dissenting). 
In an appeal from a fraud conviction where the defendant not only represented herself under Faretta, but had her then husband and fellow pro se co-defendant conduct her direct examination, the 9th found no error.  The Faretta colloquy was adequate.  The defendant knew the risks and her rights.  Her adoption of the court's suggestion that she allow her husband conduct her examination was not reversible error.  The defense was coordinated and not at odds.  She appeared to understand.  There was sufficient evidence for a conviction.  Dissenting, Noonan argues that having an interested codefendant non-lawyer examine a pro se defendant was structural error.   The majority responds that the defendant's self-representation delights were not violated as opposed to the right to counsel.


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