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The Joke's on Who?

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

It is hard to know which group -- lawyers or psychiatrists -- got it worse from Supreme Court justices during oral arguments yesterday in Indiana v. Edwards. The court was considering whether a mentally ill defendant judged competent to stand trial may be denied the right to represent himself. Indiana believes he must show he is able to "communicate coherently" with the jury.

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First up, Justice Antonin Scalia:

" Cannot communicate coherently? I sometimes think that the lawyers cannot communicate coherently."

Next up, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, upon being told the defendant had a grasp of legal terminology:

"There are all kinds of nuts who could get 90 percent on the bar exam."

And back to Scalia, exasperated after his colleagues refer to psychiatric studies about defendants:

"Are there any psychiatric studies that show how accurate psychiatric studies are?"


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