Whose abrogation?

The Madison County Record Jul. 30, 2006, 3:48am

To the editor:

Evidently McLean County Judge Scott Drazewski has not read the 1st and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution or the recent ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the 6th.

Drazewski has ruled that Maurice Wallace, accused murderer of Illinois State University student Olamide Adeyooye, could not represent himself at trial because he had been disrespectful to the court. Being disrespectful to a court does not abrogate a defendant's 1st and 6th Amendment rights.

In a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling, the court said that defendants had the right to the assistance of counsel of their choice. The court pointedly said that assistance of counsel did not mean assistance of a lawyer.

There are exceptions, but only when defendants are mentally or phyically incapable of defending themselves.

If Drazewski does not reverse himself, he is providing the basis of an appeal or mistrial.

A cognizant jury has the power to refuse to adjudicate this case, if they are aware or become aware during trial, that the defendant has been unlawfully gagged.

A bench trial would be criminal under these circumstances.

Charles D. Sullivan

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