U.S. Justices Sympathize With Death Row Inmate’s Claim Against Lawyer

This week the U.S. Supreme Court appeared to be in broad agreement that a lawyer for a criminal defendant cannot override his client’s wishes and concede his guilt at trial, even if the lawyer aims to avoid a death sentence. The case involves Louisiana death row inmate Robert McCoy who repeatedly objected to his lawyer’s decision to acknowledge that McCoy killed three people. The lawyer maintains that the evidence was overwhelming and that the only way to avoid the death penalty was to beg for mercy. The strategy failed. The justices seem to agree that lawyers must allow clients to have a say even if it does not help their case. A decision is expected by summer.