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					                                                                                                    Page 1
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83



                                        LEXSEE 422 US 806

                                     FARETTA v. CALIFORNIA

                                               No. 73-5772

                          SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

                 422 U.S. 806; 95 S. Ct. 2525; 45 L. Ed. 2d 562; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                    Argued November 19, 1974
                                         June 30, 1975

PRIOR HISTORY:                                             On certiorari, the United States Supreme
  CERTIORARI TO THE COURT OF AP-                       Court vacated the judgment and remanded the
PEAL OF CALIFORNIA, SECOND APPEL-                      case. In an opinion by Stewart, J., expressing
LATE DISTRICT                                          the view of six members of the court, it was
                                                       held that (1) a defendant in a state criminal trial
                                                       has a constitutional right to proceed without
SUMMARY:                                               counsel when he voluntarily and intelligently
                                                       elects to do so, and (2) under the circumstances
    The accused, charged with grand theft in an
                                                       of the present case, the accused was deprived of
information filed in the Superior Court of Los
                                                       his constitutional right to conduct his own de-
Angeles County, California, requested, well
                                                       fense.
before the date of trial, that he be permitted to
represent himself. Although preliminarily ac-              Burger, Ch. J., joined by Blackmun and
cepting the accused's waiver of assistance of          Rehnquist, JJ., dissenting, expressed the view
counsel, the Superior Court Judge to whom the          that there is no basis under the United States
case was assigned, after questioning the ac-           Constitution for holding that an accused has a
cused concerning the hearsay rule and the state        right to self-representation.
law governing the challenge of potential jurors,           Blackmun, J., joined by Burger, Ch. J., and
ruled that the accused had not made an intelli-        Rehnquist, J., dissenting, expressed the view
gent and knowing waiver of his right to assis-         that (1) the holding that the Sixth Amendment
tance of counsel, ruled that the accused had no        guarantees a defendant the right to proceed
constitutional right to conduct his own defense,       without counsel is not supported by the lan-
and appointed a public defender to represent           guage of the Sixth Amendment or by the histor-
the accused. Following the accused's convic-           ical evidence relied upon by the majority, and
tion, the California Court of Appeal for the           (2) a right to self-representation frequently will
Second Appellate District affirmed the trial           cause procedural confusion without advancing
judge's ruling that the accused had no constitu-       any significant strategic interest of the defen-
tional right to represent himself, and according-      dant.
ly, affirmed his conviction. The California Su-
preme Court denied review.
                                                       LAWYERS' EDITION HEADNOTES:
                                                                                                    Page 2
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83



[***LEdHN1]                                             Since the Sixth Amendment rights providing
LAW § 46.3                                              that an accused shall be informed of the nature
right to counsel --                                     and cause of the accusation, shall be confronted
Headnote:[1]                                            with the witnesses against him, shall have
                                                        compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in
The Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the              his favor, and shall have the assistance of coun-
United States Constitution guarantee that a per-        sel for his defense, are basic to our adversary
son brought to trial in any state or federal court      system of criminal justice, they are part of the
must be afforded the right to the assistance of         due process of law that is guaranteed by the
counsel before he can be validly convicted and          Fourteenth Amendment to defendants in the
punished by imprisonment.                               criminal courts of the states.

[***LEdHN2]                                              [***LEdHN5]
LAW § 46                                                LAW § 46
defendant's right to self-representation --             WITNESSES § 4
Headnote:[2A][2B][2C]                                    rights necessary for fair administration of jus-
                                                        tice --
A defendant in a state criminal trial has a con-        Headnote:[5]
stitutional right to proceed without counsel
when he voluntarily and intelligently elects to         The rights, under the Sixth Amendment, to no-
do so, and such right of self-representation is         tice, confrontation, and compulsory process,
supported by the structure of the Sixth                 when taken together, guarantee that a criminal
Amendment, which necessarily implies a right            charge may be answered in a manner funda-
of self-representation, and by the English and          mental to the fair consideration of American
colonial jurisprudence from which the Sixth             justice--through the calling and interrogation of
Amendment emerged.                                      favorable witnesses, the cross-examination of
                                                        adverse witnesses, and the orderly introduction
 [***LEdHN3]                                            of evidence.
LAW § 46
 Sixth Amendment -- rights necessary to make             [***LEdHN6]
defense --                                              LAW § 46
Headnote:[3]                                             Sixth Amendment -- accused's right to make
                                                        defense --
The Sixth Amendment includes a compact                  Headnote:[6]
statement of the rights necessary to a full de-
fense; it constitutionalizes the right in an adver-     The Sixth Amendment does not provide merely
sary criminal trial to make a defense.                  that a defense shall be made for the accused,
                                                        but rather it grants to the accused personally the
 [***LEdHN4]                                            right to make his defense; it is the accused, not
LAW § 46                                                counsel, who must be informed of the nature
LAW § 37                                                and cause of the accusation, who must be con-
WITNESSES § 4                                           fronted with witnesses against him, and who
 Sixth Amendment rights -- applicability to             must be accorded compulsory process for ob-
states --                                               taining witnesses in his favor.
Headnote:[4]
                                                                                                     Page 3
                                      422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                  45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

[***LEdHN7]                                              trial strategy can only be justified by the defen-
LAW § 839.5                                              dant's consent, at the outset, to accept counsel
LAW § 49                                                 as his representative.
due process of law -- rights of accused --
Headnote:[7A][7B]                                        [***LEdHN11]
                                                         WITNESSES § 88
It is essential to due process of law in a fair ad-      accused's privilege not to testify --
versary process that an accused have the right           Headnote:[11A][11B]
(1) to be present at all stages of the trial where
his absence might frustrate the fairness of the          Every criminal defendant is privileged to testify
proceedings, (2) to testify on his own behalf,           in his own defense, or to refuse to do so.
and (3) to be convicted only if his guilt is prov-
en beyond a reasonable doubt.                             [***LEdHN12]
                                                         LAW § 46.3
[***LEdHN8]                                               counsel -- defendant's right to decide whether
LAW § 46                                                 to use --
right of self-representation -- basis --                 Headnote:[12]
Headnote:[8A][8B]
                                                         Since the right to defend is personal and since
The accused's right of self-representation does          the defendant, and not his lawyer or the state,
not arise mechanically from his power to waive           will bear the personal consequences of a con-
the right to the assistance of counsel, but rather,      viction, it is the defendant who must be free
the right must be independently found in the             personally to decide whether in his particular
structure and history of the text of the United          case counsel is to his advantage.
States Constitution.
                                                          [***LEdHN13]
[***LEdHN9]                                              LAW § 46
LAW § 46.3                                                defendant's misconduct -- termination of right
right to counsel -- unwilling defendant --               to self-representation --
Headnote:[9]                                             Headnote:[13A][13B]

The language and spirit of the Sixth Amend-              A trial judge may terminate self-representation
ment contemplate that counsel, like the other            by a defendant who deliberately engages in se-
defense tools guaranteed by the Amendment,               rious and obstructionist misconduct.
shall be an aid to a willing defendant--not an
organ of the state interposed between an unwil-           [***LEdHN14]
ling defendant and his right to defend himself           LAW § 46
personally.                                               self-representation by defendant -- standby
                                                         counsel --
[***LEdHN10]                                             Headnote:[14A][14B]
ATTORNEYS § 19
trial strategy -- initial consent by defendant --        A state may, even over an objection by the ac-
Headnote:[10]                                            cused, appoint a standby counsel to aid the ac-
                                                         cused if and when the accused requests help,
The allocation of power to counsel to make               and to be available to represent the accused in
binding decisions in regard to many aspects of
                                                                                                    Page 4
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

the event that termination of the defendant's           accused of his constitutional right to conduct
self-representation is necessary.                       his own defense under circumstances where (1)
                                                        weeks before trial, the accused clearly and une-
 [***LEdHN15]                                           quivocally declared to the trial judge that he
LAW § 46                                                wanted to represent himself and did not want
 self-representation by defendant -- courtroom          counsel, (2) the record affirmatively showed
dignity -- rules of law --                              that the accused was literate, competent, and
Headnote:[15A][15B]                                     understanding, and that he was voluntarily ex-
                                                        ercising his informed free will, and (3) the trial
The right of self-representation is neither a li-       judge warned the accused that the judge
cense to abuse the dignity of the courtroom, nor        thought it was a mistake not to accept the assis-
is it a license not to comply with relevant rules       tance of counsel, and that the accused would be
of procedural and substantive law.                      required to follow all the ground rules of trial
                                                        procedure.
 [***LEdHN16]
ERROR § 1354                                             [***LEdHN19]
 self-representation by defendant -- denial of          LAW § 46
effective assistance of counsel --                       technical legal knowledge -- knowing exercise
Headnote:[16A][16B]                                     of right to self-representation --
                                                        Headnote:[19]
Whatever else may or may not be open to him
on appeal, a defendant who elects to represent          An accused's technical legal knowledge, as
himself cannot thereafter complain that the             such, is not relevant to an assessment of his
quality of his own defense amounted to a denial         knowing exercise of the right to represent him-
of effective assistance of counsel.                     self.

 [***LEdHN17]                                           SYLLABUS:
LAW § 46                                                    The Sixth Amendment as made applicable
 self-representation by accused -- intelligent          to the States by the Fourteenth guarantees that a
relinquishment of benefits of counsel --                defendant in a state criminal trial has an inde-
Headnote:[17]                                           pendent     constitutional      right   of    self-
                                                        representation and that he may proceed to de-
Since an accused who manages his own de-                fend himself without counsel when he volunta-
fense relinquishes many of the traditional bene-        rily and intelligently elects to do so; and in this
fits associated with the right to counsel, an ac-       case the state courts erred in forcing petitioner
cused, in order to represent himself, must kno-
                                                        against his will to accept a state-appointed pub-
wingly and intelligently forego those relin-            lic defender and in denying his request to con-
quished benefits.                                       duct his own defense. Pp. 812-836.
                                                        Vacated and remanded.
[***LEdHN18]
LAW § 46                                                    STEWART, J., delivered the opinion of the
deprivation of right to self-representation --          Court, in which DOUGLAS, BRENNAN,
Headnote:[18A][18B]                                     WHITE, MARSHALL, and POWELL, JJ.,
                                                        joined. BURGER, C. J., filed a dissenting opi-
Forcing an accused, against his will, to accept a       nion, in which BLACKMUN and REHN-
state-appointed public defender deprives the            QUIST, JJ., joined, post, p. 836. BLACK-
                                                                                                   Page 5
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

MUN, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which           the right to the assistance of counsel before he
BURGER, C. J., and REHNQUIST, J., joined,               can be validly convicted and punished by im-
post, p. 846.                                           prisonment. This clear constitutional rule has
                                                        emerged from a series of cases decided here
COUNSEL:                                                over the last 50 years. n1 The question before
                                                        us now is whether a defendant in a state crimi-
    Jerome B. Falk, Jr., by appointment of the
                                                        nal trial has a constitutional right to proceed
Court, 417 U.S. 906, argued the cause for peti-
                                                        without counsel when he voluntarily and intel-
tioner. With him on the briefs was Roger S.
                                                        ligently elects to do so. Stated another way, the
Hanson.
                                                        question is whether a State may constitutionally
    Howard      J. Schwab, Deputy Attorney              hale a person into its criminal courts and there
General of California, argued the cause for res-        force a lawyer upon him, even when he insists
pondent. With him on the brief were Evelle J.           that he wants to conduct his own defense. It is
Younger, Attorney General, Jack R. Winkler,             not an easy question, but we have concluded
Chief Assistant Attorney General, S. Clark              that a State may not constitutionally do so.
Moore, Assistant Attorney General, and Rus-
sell Iungerich and Donald J. Oeser, Deputy
                                                                   n1 See e.g., Powell v. Alabama, 287
Attorneys General. *
                                                                U.S. 45; Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S.
                                                                458; Betts v. Brady, 316 U.S. 455;
      * John E. Thorne, pro se, filed a brief as                Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335;
      amicus curiae.                                            Argersinger v. Hamlin, 407 U.S. 25.

JUDGES:
                                                            I
   Burger, Douglas, Brennan, Stewart, White,
                                                            Anthony Faretta was charged with grand
Marshall, Blackmun, Powell, Rehnquist
                                                        theft in an information filed in the Superior
                                                        Court of Los Angeles County, Cal. At the ar-
OPINIONBY:
                                                        raignment, the Superior Court Judge assigned
   STEWART                                              to preside at the trial appointed the public de-
                                                        fender to represent Faretta. Well before the date
OPINION:                                                of trial, however, Faretta requested that he be
   [*807] [***566] [**2527] MR. JUS-                    permitted to represent himself. Questioning by
TICE STEWART delivered the opinion of the               the judge revealed that Faretta had once
Court.                                                  represented himself in a criminal prosecution,
                                                        that he had a high school education, and that he
 [***LEdHR1] [1] [***LEdHR2A] [2A]The                   did not want to be represented by the public
Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of our Con-             defender because he believed that that office
stitution guarantee that a person brought to trial      was "very loaded down with... a heavy case
in any state or federal court must be afforded          load."                 The                 judge
                                                                                                       Page 6
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                                     respect you. We are going to
     [*808] responded that he believed Faretta
                                                                     give you every chance, but
was "making a mistake" and emphasized that in
                                                                     you are going to play with
further proceedings Faretta would receive no
                                                                     the same ground rules that
special favors. n2 Nevertheless, after establish-
                                                                     anybody plays. And you
ing that Faretta wanted to represent himself and
                                                                     don't know those ground
did not want a [**2528] lawyer, the judge, in
                                                                     rules. You wouldn't know
a "preliminary ruling," accepted Faretta's waiv-
                                                                     those ground rules any more
er of the assistance of counsel. The judge indi-
                                                                     than any other lawyer will
cated, however, that he might reverse this rul-
                                                                     know those ground rules un-
ing if it later appeared that Faretta was unable
                                                                     til he gets out and tries a lot
adequately to represent himself.
                                                                     of cases. And you haven't
                                                                     done it."
          n2 The judge informed Faretta:
                "You are going to follow
            the procedure. You are going                    Several [***567] weeks thereafter, but
            to have to ask the questions               still prior to trial, the judge sua sponte held a
            right. If there is an objection            hearing to inquire into Faretta's ability to con-
            to the form of the question                duct his own defense, and questioned him spe-
            and it is properly taken, it is            cifically about both the hearsay rule and the
            going to be sustained. We                  state law governing the challenge of potential
            are going to treat you like a              jurors. n3 After [**2529] consideration
            gentleman. We are going to
                                                                                               Page 7
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                       ta had not made an intelligent and knowing
     [*809] of Faretta's answers, and observa-
                                                       [***568] waiver of his right to the assistance
tion of his demeanor, the judge ruled that Faret-
                                                                                               Page 8
                                   422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                               45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                      defender to represent Faretta. Faretta's subse-
     [*810] of counsel, and also ruled that Fa-
                                                      quent request for leave to act as cocounsel was
retta had no constitutional right to conduct his
                                                      rejected, as were his efforts to make certain
own defense. n4 The judge, accordingly, re-
                                                      motions on his own behalf. n5 Throughout
versed his earlier ruling permitting self-
representation and again appointed the public
                                                                                                        Page 9
                                      422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                  45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                                          "THE COURT: Let's see
     [*811] the subsequent trial, the judge re-
                                                                       how you have been doing on
quired that Faretta's defense be conducted only
                                                                       your research.
through the appointed lawyer from the public
defender's office. At the conclusion of the trial,                         "How many exceptions
the jury found Faretta guilty as charged, and the                      are there to the hearsay rule?
judge sentenced him to prison.                                             "THE       DEFENDANT:
                                                                       Well, the hearsay rule
                                                                       would, I guess, be called the
          n3 The colloquy was as follows:
                                                                       best evidence rule, your
                 "THE COURT: In the                                    Honor. And there are several
             Faretta matter, I brought you                             exceptions in case law, but
             back down here to do some                                 in actual statutory law, I
             reconsideration as to wheth-                              don't feel there is none.
             er or not you should contin-
                                                                           "THE COURT: What are
             ue to represent yourself.
                                                                       the challenges to the jury for
                 "How have you been get-                               cause?
             ting along on your research?
                                                                          "THE     DEFENDANT:
                "THE      DEFENDANT:                                   Well, there is twelve pe-
             Not bad, your Honor.                                      remptory challenges.
                "Last night I put in the                                  "THE COURT:           And
             mail a 995 motion and it                                  how many for cause?
             should be with the Clerk
                                                                          "THE      DEFENDANT:
             within the next day or two.
                                                                       Well, as many as the Court
                 "THE COURT: Have                                      deems valid.
             you been preparing yourself
                                                                           "THE COURT: And
             for the intricacies of the trial
                                                                       what are they? What are the
             of the matter?
                                                                       grounds for challenging a ju-
                 "THE      DEFENDANT:                                  ror for cause?
             Well, your    Honor, I was
             hoping that   the case could                                   "THE     DEFENDANT:
                                                                       Well, numerous grounds to
             possibly be   disposed of on
                                                                       challenge a witness -- I
             the 995.
                                                                       mean, a juror, your Honor,
                 "Mrs. Ayers informed                                  one being the juror is per-
             me yesterday that it was the                              haps suffered, was a victim
             Court's policy to hear the                                of the same type of offense,
             pretrial motions at the time                              might be prejudiced toward
             of trial. If possible, your                               the defendant. Any substan-
             Honor, I would like a date                                tial ground that might make
             set as soon as the Court                                  the juror prejudice[d] toward
             deems adequate after they                                 the defendant.
             receive the motion, some-
                                                                           "THE COURT:         Any-
             time before trial.
                                                                       thing else?
                                                                                      Page 10
                       422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                   45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

    "THE     DEFENDANT:                                    "THE      COURT:      What
Well, a relative perhaps of                             codes?
the victim.                                                "THE DEFENDANT: I
    "THE COURT: Have                                    have done extensive research
you taken a look at that code                           in the Penal Code, your
section to see what it is?                              Honor, and the Civil Code.
   "THE      DEFENDANT:                                     "THE COURT: If you
Challenge a juror?                                      have done extensive research
                                                        into it, then tell me about it.
   "THE COURT: Yes.
                                                           "THE    DEFENDANT:
   "THE   DEFENDANT:
                                                        On empaneling a jury, your
Yes, your Honor. I have
                                                        Honor?
done --
                                                               "THE COURT: Yes.
    "THE COURT: What is
the code section?                                           "THE      DEFENDANT:
                                                        Well, the District Attorney
   "THE      DEFENDANT:
                                                        and the defendant, defense
On voir diring a jury, your
                                                        counsel, has both the right to
Honor?
                                                        12 peremptory challenges of
   "THE COURT: Yes.                                     a jury. These 12 challenges
    "THE DEFENDANT: I                                   are undisputable. Any reason
am not aware of the section                             that the defense or prosecu-
right offhand.                                          tion should feel that a juror
                                                        would be inadequate to try
   "THE COURT:         What                             the case or to rule on a case,
code is it in?                                          they may then discharge that
    "THE     DEFENDANT:                                 juror.
Well, the research I have                                   "But if there is a valid
done on challenging would                               challenge due to grounds of
be in Witkins Jurisprudence.                            prejudice or some other
    "THE COURT: Have                                    grounds, that these aren't
you looked at any of the                                considered in the 12 peremp-
codes to see where these var-                           tory challenges. There are
ious things are taken up?                               numerous and the defendant,
                                                        the defense and the prosecu-
   "THE     DEFENDANT:                                  tion both have the right to
No, your Honor, I haven't.                              make any inquiry to the jury
   "THE COURT: Have                                     as to their feelings toward
you looked in any of the                                the case."
California Codes with refer-
ence to trial procedure?
   "THE     DEFENDANT:
Yes, your Honor.                                     n4 The judge concluded:
                                                                                    Page 11
                       422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                   45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

    "[T]aking into considera-
tion the recent case of                              n5 Faretta also urged without success
People versus Sharp, where                       that he was entitled to counsel of his
the defendant apparently                         choice, and three times moved for the
does not have a constitution-                    appointment of a lawyer other than the
al right to represent himself,                   public defender. These motions, too,
the Court finds that the ends                    were denied.
of justice and requirements
of due process require that
the prior order permitting the               The California Court of Appeal, relying
defendant to represent him-               upon a then-recent California Supreme Court
self in pro per should be and             decision that had expressly decided the issue,
is hereby revoked. That pri-              n6 affirmed the trial judge's ruling that Faretta
vilege is terminated."                    had no federal or state constitutional right
                                                                                                   Page 12
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                               terms a right "to appear and defend in
     [*812] to represent himself. n7 According-
                                                               person and with counsel." § 686 (2).
ly, the appellate court affirmed Faretta's convic-
                                                               However, this language tracks the old
tion. A petition for rehearing was denied with-
                                                               language of Art. 1, § 13, of the Califor-
out opinion, and the California Supreme Court
                                                               nia Constitution; and in construing the
denied review. n8 We [***569] granted
                                                               constitutional language in Sharp to ex-
[**2530] certiorari. 415 U.S. 975.
                                                               clude any right of self-representation un-
                                                               der former Art. 1, § 13, of the State Con-
         n6 People v. Sharp, 7 Cal. 3d 448,                    stitution, the California Supreme Court
      499 P. 2d 489.                                           also stated that § 686 (2) does not pro-
                                                               vide any right of self-representation.
          When Sharp was tried the California
      Constitution expressly provided that the
      accused in a criminal prosecution had the
      right "to appear and defend, in person                       n7 The Court of Appeal also held that
      and with counsel." Cal. Const., Art. 1, §                the trial court had not "abused its discre-
      13. In an earlier decision the California                tion in concluding that Faretta had not
      Supreme Court had held that this lan-                    made a knowing and intelligent waiver of
      guage meant that the accused had the                     his right to be represented by counsel,"
      right to appear by himself or with coun-                 since "Faretta did not appear aware of the
      sel. People v. Mattson, 51 Cal. 2d 777,                  possible consequences of waiving the
      336 P. 2d 937. This view was rejected in                 opportunity for skilled and experienced
      Sharp, the California Supreme Court                      representation at trial."
      there holding that the defendant in a
                                                                   n8 The California courts' conclusion
      criminal prosecution has no right under
                                                               that Faretta had no constitutional right to
      the State or the Federal Constitution to
                                                               represent himself was made in the con-
      represent himself at trial. See generally
                                                               text of the following not unusual rules of
      Y. Kamisar, W. LaFave & J. Israel,
                                                               California criminal procedure: An indi-
      Modern Criminal Procedure 57-60 (4th
                                                               gent criminal defendant has no right to
      ed. 1974); Note, 10 Calif. Western L.
                                                               appointed counsel of his choice. See
      Rev. 196 (1973); Note, 24 Hastings L.J.
                                                               Drumgo v. Superior Court, 8 Cal. 3d
      431 (1973); Comment, 64 J. Crim. L. 240
                                                               930, 506 P. 2d 1007; People v. Miller, 7
      (1973).
                                                               Cal. 3d 562, 574, 498 P. 2d 1089, 1097
          Although immaterial to the court's                   People v. Massie, 66 Cal. 2d 899, 910,
      decision, shortly before Sharp was de-                   428 P. 2d 869, 876-877; People v. Tay-
      cided on appeal the California Constitu-                 lor, 259 Cal. App. 2d 448, 450-451, 66
      tion had been amended to delete the right                Cal. Rptr. 514, 515-517. The appointed
      of self-representation from Art. 1, § 13,                counsel manages the lawsuit and has the
      and to empower the legislature expressly                 final say in all but a few matters of trial
      "to require the defendant in a felony case               strategy. See, e.g., People v. Williams, 2
      to have the assistance of counsel." The                  Cal. 3d 894, 905, 471 P. 2d 1008, 1015;
      new statutes on their face require counsel               People v. Foster, 67 Cal. 2d 604, 606-
      only in capital cases. See Cal. Penal                    607, 432 P. 2d 976, 977-978; People v.
      Code § § 686(2), 686.1, 859, 987 (1970                   Monk, 56 Cal. 2d 288, 299, 363 P. 2d
      and Supp. 1975). In other than capital                   865, 870-871; see generally Rhay v.
      cases the accused retains by statutory                   Browder, 342 F. 2d 345, 349 (CA9). A
                                                                                         Page 13
                              422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                          45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

California conviction will not be reversed                452 P. 2d 329, 334; People v. Reeves,
on grounds of ineffective assistance of                   64 Cal. 2d 766, 774, 415 P. 2d 35, 39.
counsel except in the extreme case where
the quality of representation was so poor            II
as to render the trial a "farce or a sham."
People v. Ibarra, 60 Cal. 2d 460, 386 P.             In the federal courts, the right of self-
2d 487; see People v. Miller, Id., at 573,       representation has been protected by statute
498 P. 2d, at 1096-1097; People v.               since the beginnings of our Nation. Section 35
Floyd, 1 Cal. 3d 694, 709, 464 P. 2d 64,         of the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, 92,
73; People v. Hill, 70 Cal. 2d 678, 689,         enacted by the First Congress and signed by
                                                 President Washington one day before the Sixth
                                                 Amendment
                                                                                                 Page 14
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                           With few exceptions, each of the several
     [*813] was proposed, provided that "in all
                                                       States also accords a defendant the right to
the courts of the United States, the parties may
                                                       represent himself in any criminal case. n9 The
plead and manage their own causes personally
                                                       Constitutions of 36 States explicitly confer that
or by the assistance of... counsel...." The right
                                                       right. n10 Moreover, many state courts have
is currently codified in 28 U.S.C. § 1654.
                                                                                                   Page 15
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                               1, § 13; Ohio Const., Art. 1, § 10; Okla.
    [*814] expressed the view that the right is
                                                               Const., Art. 2, § 20; Ore. Const., Art. 1,
also supported by the Constitution of the Unit-
                                                               § 11; Pa. Const., Art. 1, § 9; S.D.
ed States. n11
                                                               Const., Art. 6, § 7; Tenn. Const., art. 1, §
                                                               9; Utah Const., Art. 1, § 12; Vt. Const.,
           n9 See, e.g., Mackreth v. Wilson, 31                c. 1, Art. 10; Wis. Const., Art. 1, § 7; see
      Ala. App. 191, 15 So. 2d 112; Cappetta                   La. Const., Art. 1, § 9.
      v. State, 204 So. 2d 913 (Fla. Dist. Ct.                     Others grant the right to defend in
      App.); Lockard v. State, 92 Idaho 813,                   person or by counsel: Kan. Const. Bill
      451 P. 2d 1014; People v. Nelson, 47                     of Rights, § 10; Mass. Const., pt. 1, Art.
      Ill. 2d 570, 268 N.E. 2d 2; Blanton v.                   12; Neb. const., Art. 1, § 11; Wash.
      State, 229 Ind. 701, 98 N.E. 2d 186;                     Const., Art. 1, § 22.
      Westberry v. State, 254 A. 2d 44 (Me.);
      Allen v. Commonwealth, 324 Mass.                             Still others provide the accused the
                                                               right to defend either by himself, by
      558, 87 N.E. 2d 192; People v. Haddad,
                                                               counsel, or both: Ala. Const., Art. 1, § 6;
      306 Mich. 556, 11 N.W. 2d 240; State v.
                                                               Fla. Const., Art. 1, § 16; Me. Const.,
      McGhee, 184 Neb. 352, 167 N.W. 2d
                                                               Art. 1, § 6; Miss. Const., Art. 3, § 26;
      765; Zasada v. State, 19 N.J. Super.
                                                               S.C. Const., Art. 1, § 14; Tex. Const.,
      589, 89 A. 2d 45; People v. McLaughlin,
                                                               Art. 1, § 10.
      291 N. Y. 480, 53 N.E. 2d 356; State v.
      Pritchard, 227 N.C. 168, 41 S.E. 2d
      287; State v. Hollman, 232 S.C. 489,
      102 S.E. 2d 873; State v. Thomlinson,                        n11 See, e.g., Lockard v. State, su-
      78 S.D. 235, 100 N.W. 2d 121; State v.                   pra; People v. Nelson, supra; Blanton
      Penderville, 2 Utah 2d 281, 272 P. 2d                    v. State, supra; Zasada v. State, supra;
      195; State v. Woodall, 5 Wash. App.                      People v. McLaughlin, supra; State v.
      901, 491 P. 2d 680. See generally An-                    Mems, 281 N.C. 658, 190 S.E. 2d 164;
      not., 77 A.L.R. 2d 1233 (1961); 5 R. An-                 State v. Verna, 9 Ore. App. 620, 498 P.
      derson, Wharton's Criminal Law and                       2d 793.
      Procedure § 2016 (1957).

                                                             This [***570] Court has more than once
                                                        indicated the same view. In Adams v. United
          n10 Some States grant the accused             States ex rel. McCann, 317 U.S. 269, 279, the
      the right to be heard, or to defend, in per-      Court recognized that the Sixth Amendment
      son and by counsel: Ariz. Const., Art. 2,         right to the assistance of counsel implicitly em-
      § 24; Ark. Const., Art. 2, § 10; Colo.            bodies a "correlative right to dispense with a
      Const., Art. 2, § 16; Conn. Const., Art.          lawyer's help." The [**2531] defendant in that
      1, § 8; Del. Const., Art. 1, § 7; Idaho           case, indicted for federal mail fraud violations,
      Const., Art. 1, § 13; Ill. Const., Art. 1, §      insisted on conducting his own defense without
      8; Ind. Const., Art. 1, § 13; Ky. Const.          benefit of counsel. He also requested a bench
      Bill of Rights, § 11; Mo. Const., Art. 1,         trial and signed a waiver of his right to trial by
      § 18 (a); Mont. Const., Art. 3, § 16;             jury. The prosecution consented to the waiver
      Nev. Const., Art. 1, § 8; N.H. Const., pt.        of a jury, and the waiver was accepted by the
      1, Art. 15; N.M. Const., Art. 2, § 14; N.         court. The defendant was convicted, but the
      Y. Const., Art. 1, § 6; N.D. Const., Art.         Court of Appeals reversed the conviction on the
                                                                                                Page 16
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

ground that a person accused of a felony could         so likewise may he competently and intelligent-
not competently waive his right to trial by jury       ly waive his Constitutional right to assistance
except upon the advice of a lawyer. This Court         of counsel." Id., at 275.
reversed and reinstated the conviction, holding             The Adams case does not, of course, neces-
that "an accused, in the exercise of a free and        sarily resolve the issue before us. It held only
intelligent choice, and with the considered ap-        that              "the              Constitution
proval of the court, may waive trial by jury, and
                                                                                                  Page 17
                                   422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                               45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                             of his free choice the right to dis-
     [*815] does not force a lawyer upon a de-
                                                             pense with some of these safe-
fendant." Id., at 279. n12 Whether the Consti-
                                                             guards... is to imprison a man in
tution forbids a State from forcing a lawyer
                                                             his privileges and call it the Con-
upon a defendant is a different question. But
                                                             stitution." Id., at 279-280 (empha-
the Court in Adams did recognize, albeit in
                                                             sis added).
dictum, an affirmative right of self-
representation:
         "The right to assistance of
     counsel and the correlative right to
                                                                  n12 The holding of Adams was reaf-
     dispense with a lawyer's help are
                                                             firmed in a different context in Carter v.
     not legal formalisms. They rest on
                                                             Illinois, 329 U.S. 173, 174-175, where
     considerations that go to the sub-
                                                             the Court again adverted to the right of
     stance of an accused's position be-
                                                             self-representation:
     fore the law...
                                                                        "Neither the historic
                                                                    conception of Due Process
                                                                    nor the vitality it derives
         "... What were contrived as
                                                                    from progressive standards
     protections for the accused should
                                                                    of justice denies a person the
     not be turned into fetters... To deny
                                                                    right to defend himself or to
     an accused a choice of procedure
                                                                    confess guilt. Under appro-
     in circumstances in which he,
                                                                    priate circumstances the
     though a layman, is as capable as
                                                                    Constitution requires that
     any lawyer of making an intelli-
                                                                    counsel be tendered; it does
     gent choice, is to impair the worth
                                                                    not require that under all cir-
     of great Constitutional safeguards
                                                                    cumstances      counsel     be
     by treating them as empty verbal-
                                                                    forced upon a defendant."
     isms.
                                                                    (Emphasis added.) See also
                                                                    Moore v. Michigan, 355
                                                                    U.S. 155, 161.
         "... When the administration of
     the criminal law... is hedged about
     as it is by the Constitutional safe-                 In other settings as well, the Court has indi-
     guards for the protection of an ac-              cated                                         that
     cused, to deny him in the exercise
                                                                                                  Page 18
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                            The United States Courts of Appeals have
     [*816] a defendant has a [***571] con-
                                                        repeatedly held that the right of self-
stitutionally protected right to represent himself
                                                        representation is protected by the Bill of
in a criminal trial. For example, in Snyder v.
                                                        Rights. In United States v. Plattner, 330 F. 2d
Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97, the Court held
                                                        271, the Court of Appeals for the Second Cir-
that the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth
                                                        cuit emphasized that the Sixth Amendment
Amendment gives the accused a right to be
                                                        grants the accused the rights of confrontation,
present at all stages of the proceedings where
                                                        of compulsory process for witnesses in his fa-
fundamental fairness might be thwarted by his
                                                        vor, and of assistance of counsel as minimum
absence. This right to "presence" was based
                                                        procedural requirements in federal criminal
upon the premise that the "defense may be
                                                        prosecutions. The right to the assistance of
made easier if the accused is permitted to be
                                                        counsel, the court concluded, was intended to
present at the examination of jurors or the
                                                        supplement the other rights of the defendant,
summing up of counsel, for it will be in his
power, if present, to give advice or suggestion         and not to impair "the absolute and primary
                                                        right to conduct one's own defense in propria
or even to supersede his lawyers altogether and
                                                        persona." Id., at 274. The court found support
conduct the trial himself." Id., at 106 (emphasis
                                                        for its decision in the language of the 1789 fed-
added). And in Price v. Johnston, 334 U.S.
                                                        eral statute; in the statutes and rules governing
266, the Court, in holding that a convicted per-
                                                        criminal procedure, see 28 U.S.C. § 1654, and
son had no absolute right to argue his own ap-
                                                        Fed. Rule Crim. Proc. 44; in the many state
peal, said this holding was in "sharp contrast"
                                                        constitutions that expressly guarantee self-
to his "recognized privilege [**2532] of con-
                                                        representation;
ducting his own defense at the trial." Id., at
285.
                                                                                                  Page 19
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                       ity opinion stating right is no more than statuto-
     [*817] and in this Court's recognition of
                                                       ry in nature).
the right in Adams and Price. On these
grounds, the Court of Appeals held that implicit           This Court's past recognition of the right of
in the Fifth Amendment's guarantee of due              self-representation, the federal-court authority
process of law, and implicit also in the Sixth         holding the right to be of constitutional dimen-
Amendment's guarantee of a right to the assis-         sion, and the state constitutions pointing to the
tance of counsel, is "the right of the accused         right's fundamental nature form a consensus not
personally to manage and conduct his own de-           easily ignored. "[T]he mere fact that a path is a
fense in a criminal case." 330 F. 2d, at 274. See      [***572] beaten one," Mr. Justice Jackson
also United States ex rel. Maldonado v. Den-           once observed, "is a persuasive reason for fol-
no, 348 F. 2d 12, 15 (CA2); MacKenna v. El-            lowing it." n13 We confront here a nearly uni-
lis, 263 F. 2d 35, 41 (CA5); United States v.          versal conviction, on the part of our people as
Sternman, 415 F. 2d 1165, 1169-1170 (CA6);             well as our courts, that forcing a lawyer upon
Lowe v. United States, 418 F. 2d 100, 103              an unwilling defendant is contrary to his basic
(CA7); United States v. Warner, 428 F. 2d              right to defend himself if he truly wants to do
730, 733 (CA8); Haslam v. United States, 431           so.
F. 2d 362, 365 (CA9); compare United States
v. Dougherty, 154 U.S. App. D.C. 76, 86, 473
F. 2d 1113, 1123 (intimating right is constitu-                  n13 Jackson, Full Faith and Credit --
tional but finding it unnecessary to reach issue)             The Lawyer's Clause of the Constitution,
with Brown v. United States, 105 U.S. App.                    45 Col. L. Rev. 1, 26 (1945).
D.C. 77, 79-80, 264 F. 2d 363, 365-366 (plural-
                                                                                                  Page 20
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                        Because these rights are basic to our adversary
    [*818] III
                                                        system of criminal justice, they are part of the
                                                        "due process of law" that is guaranteed by the
 [***LEdHR2B] [2B]This consensus is sound-
                                                        Fourteenth Amendment to defendants in the
ly premised. The right of self-representation
                                                        criminal courts of the States. n14 The rights to
finds support in the structure of the Sixth
                                                        notice, [**2533] confrontation, and compul-
Amendment, as well as in the English and co-
                                                        sory process, when taken together, guarantee
lonial jurisprudence from which the Amend-
                                                        that a criminal charge may be answered in a
ment emerged.
                                                        manner now considered fundamental to the fair
   A                                                    administration of American justice -- through
                                                        the calling and interrogation of favorable wit-
 [***LEdHR3]         [3] [***LEdHR4]        [4]         nesses, the cross-examination of adverse wit-
[***LEdHR5] [5]The Sixth Amendment in-                  nesses, and the orderly introduction of evi-
cludes a compact statement of the rights neces-         dence. In short, the Amendment constitutiona-
sary to a full defense:                                 lizes the right in an adversary criminal trial to
           "In all criminal prosecutions,               make a defense as we know it. See California
       the accused shall enjoy the right...             v. Green, 399 U.S. 149, 176 (Harlan, J., con-
       to be informed of the nature and                 curring).
       cause of the accusation; to be con-
       fronted with the witnesses against                          n14 Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S.
       him; to have compulsory process                         335, and Argersinger v. Hamlin, 407
       for obtaining witnesses in his fa-                      U.S. 25 (right to counsel); Pointer v.
       vor, and to have the Assistance of                      Texas, 380 U.S. 400 (right of confronta-
       Counsel for his defence."                               tion); Washington v. Texas, 388 U.S. 14
                                                               (right to compulsory process). See also In
                                                               re Oliver, 333 U.S. 257, 273.
                                                                                               Page 21
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                       and cause of the accusation," who must be
    [*819]
                                                       "confronted with the witnesses against him,"
                                                       and who must be accorded "compulsory
 [***LEdHR2C] [2C] [***LEdHR6]                [6]
                                                       process for obtaining witnesses in his favor."
[***LEdHR7A]           [7A] [***LEdHR8A]
                                                       Although not stated in the Amendment in so
[8A]The Sixth Amendment does not provide
                                                       many words, the right to self-representation --
merely that a defense shall be made for the ac-
                                                       to make one's own defense personally -- is thus
cused; it grants to the accused personally the
                                                       necessarily implied by the structure of the
right to make his defense. It is the accused, not
                                                       Amendment. n15 The right to defend
counsel, who must be "informed of the nature
                                                                                                   Page 22
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

 [*820] [***573] is given directly to the ac-                  26. Instead, the Court could locate only
cused; for it is he who suffers the consequences               "isolated instances" of a right to trial by
if the defense fails.                                          judge, and concluded that these were
                                                               "clear departures from the common law."
[***LEdHR8B] [8B] [***LEdHR7B] [7B]                            Ibid.
                                                                    We follow the approach of Singer
           n15 This Court has often recognized                 here. Our concern is with an independent
      the constitutional stature of rights that,               right of self-representation. We do not
      though not literally expressed in the doc-               suggest that this right arises mechanically
      ument, are essential to due process of law               from a defendant's power to waive the
      in a fair adversary process. It is now ac-               right to the assistance of counsel. See su-
      cepted, for example, that an accused has                 pra, at 814-815. On the contrary, the
      a right to be present at all stages of the               right must be independently found in the
      trial where his absence might frustrate                  structure and history of the constitutional
      the fairness of the proceedings, Snyder                  text.
      v. Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97; to testify
      on his own behalf, see Harris v. New
      York, 401 U.S. 222, 225; Brooks v.
      Tennessee, 406 U.S. 605, 612; cf. Fer-             [***LEdHR9] [9] [***LEdHR10] [10]The
      guson v. Georgia, 365 U.S. 570; and to            counsel provision supplements this design. It
      be convicted only if his guilt is proved          speaks of the "assistance" of counsel, and an
      beyond a reasonable doubt, In re Win-             assistant, however expert, is still an assistant.
      ship, 397 U.S. 358; Mullaney v. Wilbur,           The language and spirit of the Sixth Amend-
      421 U.S. 684.                                     ment contemplate that counsel, like the other
          The inference of rights is not, of            defense tools guaranteed by the Amendment,
      course, a mechanical exercise. In Singer          shall be an aid to a willing defendant -- not an
      v. United States, 380 U.S. 24, the Court          organ of the State interposed between an unwil-
      held that an accused has no right to a            ling defendant and his right to defend himself
      bench trial, despite his capacity to waive        personally. To thrust counsel upon the accused,
      his right to a jury trial. In so holding, the     against his considered wish, thus violates the
      Court stated that "[the] ability to waive a       logic of the Amendment. In such a case, coun-
      constitutional right does not ordinarily          sel is not an [**2534] assistant, but a master;
      carry with it the right to insist upon the        n16 and the right to make a defense is stripped
      opposite of that right." Id., at 34-35. But       of the personal character upon which the
      that statement was made only after the            Amendment insists. It is true that when a de-
      Court had concluded that the Constitu-            fendant chooses to have a lawyer manage and
      tion does not affirmatively protect any           present his case, law and tradition may allocate
      right to be tried by a judge. Recognizing         to the counsel the power to make binding deci-
      that an implied right must arise indepen-         sions of trial strategy in many areas. Cf. Henry
      dently from the design and history of the         v. Mississippi, 379 U.S. 443, 451; Brookhart
      constitutional text, the Court searched           v. Janis, 384 U.S. 1, 7-8; Fay v. Noia, 372
      for, but could not find, any "indication          U.S. 391, 439. This allocation can only be justi-
      that the colonists considered the ability to      fied, however, by the defendant's consent, at
      waive a jury trial to be of equal impor-          the
      tance to the right to demand one." Id., at
                                                                                                   Page 23
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

 [*821] outset, to accept counsel as his repre-             B
sentative. An unwanted counsel "represents"                 The Sixth Amendment, when naturally
the defendant only through a tenuous and unac-          read, thus implies a right of self-representation.
ceptable legal fiction. Unless the accused has          This reading is reinforced by the Amendment's
acquiesced in such representation, the defense          roots in English legal history.
presented is not the defense guaranteed
[***574] him by the Constitution, for, in a                  In the long history of British criminal juri-
very real sense, it is not his defense.                 sprudence, there was only one tribunal that ever
                                                        adopted a practice of forcing counsel upon an
                                                        unwilling defendant in a criminal proceeding.
          n16 Such a result would sever the             The tribunal was the Star Chamber. That cu-
      concept of counsel from its historic roots.       rious institution, which flourished in the late
      The first lawyers were personal friends           16th and early 17th centuries, was of mixed
      of the litigant, brought into court by him        executive and judicial character, and characte-
      so that he might "take 'counsel' with             ristically departed from common-law traditions.
      them" before pleading. 1 F. Pollock & F.          For those reasons, and because it specialized in
      Maitland, The History of English Law              trying "political" offenses, the Star Chamber
      211 (2d ed. 1909). Similarly, the first "at-      has for centuries symbolized disregard of basic
      torneys" were personal agents, often              individual rights. n17 The Star Chamber not
      lacking any professional training, who            merely allowed but required defendants to have
      were appointed by those litigants who             counsel. The defendant's answer to an indict-
      had secured royal permission to carry on          ment was not accepted unless it was signed by
      their affairs through a representative, ra-       counsel. When counsel refused to sign the an-
      ther than personally. Id., at 212-213.            swer, for whatever reason, the defendant was
                                                                                            Page 24
                                 422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                             45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                    to justice in using rules of practice in such a
    [*822] considered to have confessed. n18
                                                    manner                                       as
[***575] Stephen commented on this proce-
dure: "There is something specially repugnant
                                                                                                    Page 25
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                               the following account of a criminal libel
     [*823] to debar a prisoner from defending
                                                               trial in the Star Chamber:
[**2535] himself, especially when the pro-
fessed object of the rules so used is to provide                   "In 1632 William Prynne was in-
for his defence." 1 J. Stephen, A History of the               formed against for his book called Hi-
Criminal Law of England 341-342 (1883). The                    strio Mastix.     Prynne's answer was,
Star Chamber was swept away in 1641 by the                     amongst other things, that his book had
revolutionary fervor of the Long Parliament.                   been licensed, and one of the counsel,
The notion of obligatory counsel disappeared                   Mr. Holbourn, apologized, not without
with it.                                                       good cause, for his style... His trial was,
                                                               like the other Star Chamber proceedings,
                                                               perfectly decent and quiet, but the sen-
          n17 "The court of star chamber was                   tence can be described only as monstr-
      an efficient, somewhat arbitrary arm of                  ous. He was sentenced to be disbarred
      royal power. It was at the height of its ca-             and deprived of his university degrees; to
      reer in the days of the Tudor and Stuart                 stand twice in the pillory, and to have
      kings. Star chamber stood for swiftness                  one ear cut off each time; to be fined #
      and power; it was not a competitor of the                5,000; and to be perpetually imprisoned,
      common law so much as a limitation on                    without books, pen, ink, or paper...
      it - a reminder that high state policy
                                                                   "Five years after this, in 1637,
      could not safely be entrusted to a system
                                                               Prynne, Bastwick, and Burton, were tried
      so chancy as English law...." L. Fried-
                                                               for libel, and were all sentenced to the
      man, A History of American Law 23
                                                               same punishment as Prynne had received
      (1973). See generally 5 W. Holdsworth,
                                                               in 1632, Prynne being branded on the
      A History of English Law 155-214
                                                               cheeks instead of losing his ears.
      (1927).
                                                                    "The procedure in this case appears
          n18 "The proceedings before the Star
                                                               to me to have been as harsh as the sen-
      Chamber began by a Bill 'engrossed in
                                                               tence was severe, though I do not think it
      parchment and filed with the clerk of the
                                                               has been so much noticed... Star Cham-
      court.' It must, like the other pleadings,
                                                               ber defendants were not only allowed
      be signed by counsel... However, counsel
                                                               counsel, but were required to get their
      were obliged to be careful what they
                                                               answers signed by counsel. The effect of
      signed. If they put their hands to merely
                                                               this rule, and probably its object was, that
      frivolous pleas, or otherwise misbehaved
                                                               no defence could be put before the Court
      themselves in the conduct of their cases,
                                                               which counsel would not take the re-
      they were liable to rebuke, suspension, a
                                                               sponsibility of signing -- a responsibility
      fine, or imprisonment." Holdsworth, su-
                                                               which, at that time, was extremely se-
      pra, n. 17, at 178-179. Counsel, there-
                                                               rious. If counsel would not sign the de-
      fore, had to be cautious that any plead-
                                                               fendant's answer he was taken to have
      ings they signed would not unduly offend
                                                               confessed the information. Prynne's an-
      the Crown. See 1 J. Stephen, A History
                                                               swer was of such a character that one of
      of the Criminal Law of England 340-341
                                                               the counsel assigned to him refused to
      (1883).
                                                               sign it at all, and the other did not sign it
          This presented not merely a hypothet-                till after the proper time. Bastwick could
      ical risk for the accused. Stephen gives                 get no one to sign his answer. Burton's
                                                               answer was signed by counsel, but was
                                                                                            Page 26
                              422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                          45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

set aside as impertinent. Upon the whole,             By the common law of that time, it was not
the case was taken to be admitted by all         representation     by      counsel     but    self-
the three, and judgment was passed on            representation that was the practice in prosecu-
them accordingly...." Stephen, supra, at         tions for serious crime. At one time, every liti-
340-341.                                         gant was required to "appear before the court in
                                                 his own person and conduct his own cause in
    That Prynne's defense was foreclosed
                                                 his own words." n19 While a right to counsel
by the refusal of assigned counsel to en-
                                                 developed early in civil cases and in cases of
dorse his answer is all the more shocking
                                                 misdemeanor, a prohibition against the assis-
when it is realized that Prynne was him-
                                                 tance of counsel continued for centuries in
self a lawyer. I. Brant, The Bill of Rights
                                                 prosecutions for felony or treason. n20 Thus, in
106 (1965). On the operation of the Star
                                                 the 16th and 17th centuries the accused felon or
Chamber generally, see Barnes, Star
                                                 traitor stood alone, with neither counsel nor the
Chamber Mythology, 5 Am. J. Legal
Hist. 1-11 (1961), and Barnes, Due               benefit of other rights - to notice, confrontation,
                                                 and compulsory process - that we now asso-
Process and Slow Process in the Late
                                                 ciate with a genuinely fair adversary proceed-
Elizabethan-Early Stuart Star Chamber, 6
                                                 ing. The trial was merely a "long argument be-
Am. J. Legal Hist. 221-249, 315-346
                                                 tween        the      prisoner        and       the
(1962).
                                                                                                 Page 27
                                   422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                               45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                                    the very essence of the trial,
     [*824] counsel for the Crown.', n21 As
                                                                    and his answers regulated
harsh as this now seems, at least "the prisoner
                                                                    the production of the evi-
was allowed to make what statements he
                                                                    dence... As the argument
liked... Obviously this public oral trial pre-
                                                                    proceeded the counsel [for
sented [**2536] many more opportunities to a
                                                                    the Crown] would frequently
prisoner than the secret enquiry based on writ-
                                                                    allege matters which the
ten depositions, which, on the continent, had
                                                                    prisoner denied and called
taken the place of a trial...." n22
                                                                    upon them to prove. The
                                                                    proof was usually given by
          n19 Pollock & Maitland, supra, n.                         reading depositions, confes-
      16, at 211.                                                   sions of accomplices, letters,
                                                                    and the like... When the mat-
                                                                    ter had been fully inquired
                                                                    into... the presiding judge
          n20 Ibid. See also Stephen, supra, n.                     'repeated' or summed up to
      18, at 341.                                                   the jury the matters alleged
                                                                    against the prisoner, and the
         n21 Id ., at 326.                                          answers given by him; and
          The trial would begin with accusa-                        the jury gave their verdict."
      tions by counsel for the Crown. The pris-                     Id., at 325-326.
      oner usually asked, and was granted, the
      privilege of answering separately each                    n22 Holdsworth, supra,        n. 17, at
      matter alleged against him:                            195-196.
                "[T]he trial became a se-
            ries of excited altercations                  With the Treason Act of 1695, there began
            between the prisoner and the              a long and important era of reform in English
            different counsel opposed to              criminal procedure. The 1695 statute granted to
            him. Every statement of                   the accused traitor the rights to a copy of the
            counsel operated as a ques-               indictment, to have his witnesses testify under
            tion to the prisoner,... the              oath, and "to [***576] make... full Defence,
            prisoner either admitting or              by Counsel learned in the Law." n23 It also
            denying or explaining what                provided for court appointment of counsel, but
            was alleged against him. The              only if the accused so desired. n24
            result was that... the exami-
            nation of the prisoner... was
                                                                                                 Page 28
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                       substantially eroded in the courts, n26 was fi-
     [*825] Thus, as new rights developed, the
                                                       nally eliminated by statute in 1836. n27 In
accused retained his established right "to make
                                                       more recent years, Parliament has provided for
what statements he liked." n25 The right to
                                                       court appointment of counsel in serious crimi-
counsel was viewed as guaranteeing a choice
                                                       nal cases, but only at the accused's request. n28
between representation by counsel and the tra-
                                                       At no point in this process of reform in England
ditional practice of self-representation. The ban
                                                       was counsel ever forced upon the
on counsel in felony cases, which had been
                                                                                                  Page 29
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                              fense, but could also examine defense
    [*826] defendant. The common-law rule,
                                                              witnesses and cross-examine those of the
succinctly stated in R. v. Woodward, [1944]
                                                              Crown. 18 How. St. Tr. 1117. Later in
K.B. 118, 119, [1944] 1 All E.R. 159, 160, has
                                                              that century judges often allowed counsel
evidently always been that "no person charged
                                                              for the accused "to instruct him what
with a criminal offence can have counsel forced
                                                              questions to ask, or even to ask questions
upon him against his will." n29 See 3 Hals-
                                                              for him, with respect to matters of fact...
bury's [**2537] Laws of England p1141, pp.
                                                              [or] law." 4 W. Blackstone, Commenta-
624-625 (4th ed. 1973); R. v. Maybury, 11
                                                              ries *355-356.
L.T.R. (n.s.) 566 (Q.B. 1865).
                                                                  n27 6 & 7 Will. 4, c. 114, § 1. The
                                                              statute provided in pertinent part that the
          n23 7 Will. 3, c. 3, § 1. The right to              accused "shall be admitted, after the
      call witnesses under oath was extended                  Close of the Case for the Prosecution, to
      to felony cases by statute in 1701. 1                   make full Answer and Defence thereto
      Anne, Stat. 2, c. 9, § 3.                               by Counsel learned in the Law, or by At-
          n24 The statute provided, in pertinent              torney in Courts where Attornies practise
      part, that the accused "shall be received               as Counsel."
      and admitted to make his and their full                     n28 See, e.g., Poor Prisoners' De-
      Defence, by Counsel learned in the Law,                 fence Act, 1903, 3 Edw. 7, c. 38, § 1;
      and to make any Proof that he or they can               Poor Prisoners' Defense Act, 1930, 20 &
      produce by lawful Witness or Witnesses,                 21 Geo. 5, c. 32; Legal Aid and Advice
      who shall then be upon Oath, for his and                Act, 1949, 12 & 13 Geo. 6, c. 51.
      their just Defence in that Behalf; and in
                                                                   n29 Counsel had been appointed for
      case any Person or Persons so accused or
                                                              the defendant Woodward but withdrew
      indicted shall desire Counsel, the Court
                                                              shortly before trial. When the trial court
      before whom such Person or Persons
                                                              appointed a substitute counsel, the de-
      shall be tried, or some Judge of that
                                                              fendant objected: "I would rather not
      Court, shall and is hereby authorized and
                                                              have legal aid. I would rather conduct the
      required immediately, upon his or their
                                                              case myself." The trial court insisted,
      Request, to assign to such Person and
                                                              however, that the defendant proceed to
      Persons such and so many Counsel, not
                                                              trial with counsel, and a conviction re-
      exceeding Two, as the Person or Persons
                                                              sulted. On appeal, the Crown did not
      shall desire, to whom such Counsel shall
                                                              even attempt to deny a basic right of self-
      have free Access at all seasonable Hours;
                                                              representation, but argued only that the
      any Law or Usage to the contrary not-
                                                              right had been waived when the accused
      withstanding."
                                                              accepted the first counsel. The Court of
                                                              Appeal rejected this argument: "The
                                                              prisoner right at the beginning [of the tri-
         n25 Holdsworth, supra,        n. 17, at              al] said that he wished to defend him-
      195.                                                    self... and he was refused what we think
                                                              was his right to make his own case to the
           n26 In Mary Blandy's 1752 murder                   jury instead of having it made for him by
      trial, for example, the court declared that             counsel." This, the court held, was an
      counsel for the defendant could not only                "injustice to the prisoner," and "although
      speak on points of law raised by the de-                there was a good deal of evidence against
                                                                                                Page 30
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

       the prisoner," the court quashed the con-        tional distrust of lawyers. When the Colonies
       viction.                                         were first settled, "the lawyer was synonymous
                                                        with the cringing Attorneys-General and Solici-
                                                        tors-General of the Crown and the arbitrary
   C
                                                        Justices of the King's Court, all bent on the
   In the American Colonies the insistence              conviction of those who opposed the King's
[***577] upon a right of self-representation            prerogatives, and twisting the law to secure
was, if anything, more fervent than in England.         convictions." n30 This prejudice gained
    The colonists brought with them an apprec-          strength in the Colonies where "distrust
iation of the virtues of self-reliance and a tradi-
                                                                                               Page 31
                                   422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                               45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                                  "Every man that findeth himselfe un-
     [*827] of lawyers became an institution."
                                                             fit to plead his owne cause in any Court
n31 Several Colonies prohibited pleading for
                                                             shall have Libertie to imploy any man
hire in the 17th century. n32 The prejudice per-
                                                             against whom the Court doth not except,
sisted into the 18th century as "the lower
                                                             to helpe him, Provided he give him noe
classes came to identify lawyers with the upper
                                                             fee or reward for his paines...."
class." n33 The years of Revolution and Confe-
deration saw an upsurge of antilawyer senti-                     Pleading for hire was also prohibited
ment, a "sudden revival, after the War of the                in 17th century Virginia, Connecticut,
Revolution, of the old dislike and distrust of               and the Carolinas. Friedman, supra, n.
lawyers as a class." n34 In the heat of these                17, at 81.
sentiments the Constitution was forged.                          n33 Id., at 82.
                                                                 n34 Warren, supra, n. 30, at 212.
        n30 C. Warren, A History of the
      American Bar 7 (1911).                              This is not to say that the Colonies were
                                                      slow to recognize the value of counsel in crim-
                                                      inal cases. Colonial judges soon departed from
                                                      ancient English practice and allowed accused
         n31 D. Boorstin, The Americans; The
                                                      felons the aid of counsel for their defense. n35
      Colonial Experience 197 (1958).
                                                      At the same time, however, the basic right of
         n32 For example, the Massachusetts
      Body of Liberties (1641) in Art. 26 pro-
      vided:
                                                                                                    Page 32
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                               fluenced by the illiberal principles which
     [*828] self-representation was never ques-
                                                               they had imbibed in their native country,
tioned. We have found no instance where a co-
                                                               denied counsel to prisoners to plead for
lonial court required a defendant in a criminal
                                                               them to any thing but points of law. It is
case to accept as his representative an un-
                                                               manifest that there is as much necessity
wanted lawyer. Indeed, even where counsel
                                                               for counsel to investigate matters of fact,
was permitted, the general practice continued
                                                               as points of law, if truth is to be discov-
to be self-representation. n36
                                                               ered." 2 Z. Swift, A System of the Laws
                                                               of the State of Connecticut 398-399
         n35 For example, Zephaniah Swift, in                  (1796).
      one of the first American colonial treatis-                  Similarly, colonial Virginia at first
      es on law, made clear that a right to                    based its court proceedings on English
      counsel was recognized in Connecticut.                   judicial customs, but "[b]y the middle of
      He wrote:                                                the eighteenth century the defendant was
          "We have never admitted that cruel                   permitted advice of counsel if he could
      and illiberal principle of the common law                afford such services." H. Rankin, Crimi-
      of England, that when a man is on trial                  nal Trial Proceedings in the General
      for his life, he shall be refused counsel,               Court of Colonial Virginia 67, 89 (1965).
      and denied those means of defence,
      which are allowed, when the most trifling
      pittance of property is in question. The
                                                                   n36 See, e.g., Id ., at 89-90.
      flimsy pretence, that the court are to be
      counsel for the prisoner will only heigh-
      ten our indignation at the practice: for it           The [***578] right of self-representation
      is apparent to the least consideration, that      was guaranteed in many colonial charters and
      a court can never furnish a person ac-            declarations of rights. These early [**2538]
      cused of a crime with the advice, and as-         documents establish that the "right to counsel"
      sistance necessary to make his defence...         meant to the colonists a right to choose be-
                                                        tween pleading through a lawyer and
         "Our ancestors, when they first
                                                        representing    oneself.   n37     After    the
      enacted their laws respecting crimes, in-
                                                                                           Page 33
                                   422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                               45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                      the new state constitutions in wholesale fa-
     [*829] Declaration of Independence, the
                                                      shion. n38 The right to counsel was clearly
right of self-representation, along with other
                                                      thought                                   to
rights basic to the making of a defense, entered
                                                                                                   Page 34
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                               was "unacquainted with the formality of
     [*830] supplement the primary right of the
                                                               the law," but requested that he be given a
accused to defend himself, n39 utilizing his
                                                               fair hearing and the "liberty of making
personal [**2539] rights to notice, confronta-
                                                               my defence." The request was granted,
tion, and [***579] compulsory process. And
                                                               Penn represented himself, and although
when the Colonies or newly independent States
                                                               the judges jailed him for contempt, the
provided by statute rather than by constitution
                                                               jury acquitted him of the charge. "The
for court appointment of counsel in criminal
                                                               People's Ancient and Just Liberties As-
cases, they also meticulously preserved the
                                                               serted, in the Trial of William Penn and
right of the accused to defend himself personal-
                                                               William Mead, 1670," reproduced in 1
ly. n40
                                                               Schwartz 144, 147. See The Trial of Wil-
                                                               liam Penn, 6 How. St. Tr. 951 (1670),
          n37 See, e.g., the Massachusetts                     cited in Illinois v. Allen, 397 U.S. 337,
      Body of Liberties, Art. 26 (1641), supra,                353 (opinion of DOUGLAS, J.).
      n. 32.
          Similarly, the Concessions and
      Agreements of West New Jersey, in                            n38 Article IX of the Pennsylvania
      1677, provided, for all cases, civil and                 Declaration of Rights in 1776 guaranteed
      criminal, "that no person or persons shall               "[t]hat in all prosecutions for criminal of-
      be compelled to fee any attorney or                      fences, a man hath a right to be heard by
      councillor to plead his cause, but that all              himself and his council...." The Vermont
      persons have free liberty to plead his own               Declaration of Rights (Art. X) in 1777
      cause, if he please."                                    protected the right of self-representation
           The Pennsylvania Frame of Govern-                   with virtually identical language. The
      ment of 1682, perhaps "the most influen-                 Georgia Constitution (Art. LVIII) in
      tial of the Colonial documents protecting                1777 declared that its provisions barring
      individual rights," 1 B. Schwartz, The                   the unauthorized practice of law were
      Bill of Rights: A Documentary History                    "not intended to exclude any person from
      130 (1971) (hereinafter Schwartz), pro-                  that inherent privilege of every freeman,
      vided:                                                   the liberty to plead his own cause." In
                                                               1780 the Massachusetts Declaration of
          "That, in all courts all persons of all              Rights, Art. XII, provided that the ac-
      persuasions may freely appear in their                   cused had a right to be heard "by himself,
      own way, and according to their own                      or his counsel at his election." The New
      manner, and there personally plead their                 Hampshire Bill of Rights (Art. XV) in
      own cause themselves; or, if unable, by                  1783 affirmed the right of the accused
      their friends...."                                       "to be fully heard in his defence by him-
          That provision was no doubt inspired                 self, and counsel." In 1792 the Delaware
      by William Penn's belief that an accused                 Constitution (Art. I, § 7) preserved the
      should go free if he could personally per-               right in language modeled after Art. IX
      suade a jury that it would be unjust to                  of the Pennsylvania Declaration of
      convict him. In England, 12 years earlier,               Rights. Similarly, in 1798 Georgia in-
      Penn, after preaching a sermon in the                    cluded in its Constitution (Art. III, § 8) a
      street, had been indicted and tried for dis-             provision that protected the right of the
      turbing the peace. Penn conceded that he                 accused to defend "by himself or coun-
                                                                                             Page 35
                               422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                           45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

sel, or both." Other state constitutions did                 "Either party... has a natural right to
not express in literal terms a right of self-            plead his own cause; this right is consis-
representation, but those documents                      tent with safety, therefore it is retained;
granted all defense rights to the accused                but the parties may not be able,... there-
personally and phrased the right of coun-                fore the civil right of pleading by proxy,
sel in such fashion as to imply the exis-                that is, by a council, is an appendage to
tence of the antecedent liberty. See Del.                the      natural     right     [of     self-
Declaration of Rights, § 14 (1776) (right                representation]...." Thomas Paine on a
"to be allowed counsel"); Md. Declara-                   Bill of Rights, 1777, reprinted in 1
tion of Rights, Art. XIX (1776) (right "to               Schwartz 316.
be allowed counsel"); N.J. Const., Art.                      n40 Statutes providing for appoint-
XVI (1776) (criminals to have "same
                                                         ment of counsel on request of the ac-
privileges of... counsel, as their prosecu-              cused were enacted by Delaware in 1719,
tors"); N. Y. Const., Art. XXXIV (1777)                  1 Laws of the State of Delaware, 1700-
("shall be allowed counsel").                            1797, p. 66 (Adams 1797); by Pennsyl-
                                                         vania in 1718, 3 Stats. at Large of Penn-
                                                         sylvania 199 (Busch 1896); and by South
                                                         Carolina in 1731, Laws of the Province
    n39 The Founders believed that self-
                                                         of South Carolina 518-519 (Trott 1736).
representation was a basic right of a free
                                                         Appointment was also the practice in
people. Underlying this belief was not
                                                         Connecticut in the latter part of the 18th
only the antilawyer sentiment of the po-
                                                         century; appointment apparently was
pulace, but also the "natural law" think-
                                                         sometimes made even when the accused
ing that characterized the Revolution's
                                                         failed to request counsel, if he appeared
spokesmen. See P. Kauper, The Higher
                                                         in need of a lawyer, but there is no indi-
Law and the Rights of Man in a Revolu-
                                                         cation appointment was ever made over
tionary Society, a lecture in the American
                                                         the objection of the accused. See Swift,
Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Re-
                                                         supra, n. 35, at 392. Free-choice ap-
search series on the American Revolu-
                                                         pointment remained the rule as the new
tion, Nov. 7, 1973, extracted in 18 U. of
                                                         Republic emerged. See the 1791 statute
Mich. Law School Law Quadrangle
                                                         of New Hampshire, Laws of New Hamp-
Notes, No. 2, p. 9 (1974). For example,
Thomas Paine, arguing in support of the                  shire 247 (Melcher 1792), and the 1795
                                                         statute of New Jersey, § 2, Acts of the
1776 Pennsylvania Declaration of Rights,
                                                         Nineteenth General Assembly of the
said:
                                                         State of New Jersey 1012.
                                                                                                Page 36
                                   422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                               45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                      See 28 U.S.C. § 1654. At the time James
    [*831] The recognition of the right of self-
                                                      Madison drafted the Sixth Amendment, some
representation was not limited to the state law-
                                                      state constitutions guaranteed an accused the
makers. As we have noted, § 35 of the Judi-
                                                      right to be heard "by himself" and by counsel;
ciary Act of 1789, signed one day before the
                                                      others provided that an accused was to be "al-
Sixth Amendment was proposed, guaranteed in
                                                      lowed" counsel. n41 The various state propos-
the federal courts the right of all parties to
                                                      als for the Bill of Rights had similar variations
"plead and manage their own causes personally
                                                      in                terminology.                n42
or by the assistance of... counsel." 1 Stat. 92.
                                                                                                   Page 37
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                               have the Assistance of Counsel for his
     [*832] In each case, however, the counsel
                                                               defence" - varied in phrasing from each
provision was embedded in a package of de-
                                                               of the proposals. "The available debates
fense rights granted personally to the accused.
                                                               on the various proposals throw no light
There is no indication that the differences in
                                                               on the significance or the interpretation
phrasing about "counsel" reflected any differ-
                                                               which Congress attributed to the right to
ences of principle about self-representation. No
                                                               counsel." W. Beaney, The Right to
State or Colony had ever forced counsel upon
                                                               Counsel in American Courts 23 (1955).
an accused; no spokesman had ever suggested
that such a practice would be tolerable, much
less advisable. If anyone [***580] had                      In sum, there is no evidence that the colon-
thought that the Sixth Amendment, as drafted,           ists and the Framers ever doubted the right of
failed to protect the long-respected right of self-     self-representation, or imagined that this right
representation, there would undoubtedly have            might be considered inferior to the right of as-
been some debate or comment on the issue. But           sistance of counsel. To the contrary, the colon-
there was none.                                         ists and the Framers, as well as their English
                                                        ancestors, always conceived of the right to
                                                        counsel as an "assistance" for the accused, to be
         n41 See counsel provisions in n. 38,           used at his option, in defending himself. The
      supra.                                            Framers selected in the Sixth Amendment a
          n42 In ratifying the Constitution,            form of [**2540] words that necessarily im-
      three States urged that a right-to-counsel        plies the right of self-representation. That con-
      provision be added by way of amend-               clusion is supported by centuries of consistent
      ment. Virginia and North Carolina pro-            history.
      posed virtually identical packages of a               IV
      defendant's rights, each including the
                                                             There can be no blinking the fact that the
      provision that an accused be "allowed"
                                                        right of an accused to conduct his own defense
      counsel. 2 Schwartz 841, 967. The pack-
                                                        seems to cut against the grain of this Court's
      age proposed by New York provided that
                                                        decisions holding that the Constitution requires
      the accused "ought to... have... the assis-
                                                        that no accused can be convicted and impri-
      tance of Council for his defense." Id., at
                                                        soned unless he has been accorded the right to
      913. The idea of proposing amendments
                                                        the assistance of counsel. See Powell v. Ala-
      upon ratification had begun with the
                                                        bama, 287 U.S. 45; Johnson v. Zerbst, 304
      Pennsylvania dissenters from ratification,
                                                        U.S. 458; Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S.
      whose proposed package of a defendant's
                                                        335; Argersinger v. Hamlin, 407 U.S. 25. For
      rights provided for the accused's "right...
                                                        it is surely true that the basic thesis of those
      to be heard by himself and his counsel."
                                                        decisions is that the help of a lawyer is essential
      Id., at 664-665. It can be seen that Madi-
                                                        to                                          assure
      son's precise formulation - "the right... to
                                                                                                   Page 38
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                              he faces the danger of conviction because
     [*833] the defendant a fair trial. n43 And a
                                                              he does not know how to establish his
strong argument can surely be made that the
                                                              innocence. If that be true of men of intel-
whole thrust of those decisions must inevitably
                                                              ligence, how much more true is it of the
lead to the conclusion that a State may constitu-
                                                              ignorant and illiterate, or those of feeble
tionally impose a lawyer upon even an unwil-
                                                              intellect. If in any case, civil or criminal,
ling defendant.
                                                              a state or federal court were arbitrarily to
                                                              refuse to hear a party by counsel, em-
          n43 As stated by Mr. Justice Suther-                ployed by and appearing for him, it rea-
      land in Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S. 45:                 sonably may not be doubted that such a
                                                              refusal would be a denial of a hearing,
          "Even the intelligent and educated                  and, therefore, of due process in the con-
      layman has small and sometimes no skill                 stitutional sense." Id., at 69.
      in the science of law. If charged with
      crime, he is incapable, generally, of de-
      termining for himself whether the in-
      dictment is good or bad. He is unfamiliar
      with the rules of evidence. Left without          [***LEdHR11A] [11A]But it is one thing to
      the aid of counsel he may be put on trial        hold that every defendant, rich or poor, has the
      without a proper charge, and convicted           right to the assistance of counsel, and quite
      upon incompetent evidence, or evidence           another to say that a State may compel a defen-
      irrelevant to the issue or otherwise inad-       dant to accept a lawyer he does not want. The
      missible. He lacks both the skill and            value of state-appointed counsel was not unap-
      knowledge adequately to prepare his de-          preciated by the Founders, n44 yet the notion of
      fense, even though he have a perfect one.        compulsory counsel was utterly foreign to
      He requires the guiding hand of counsel          them. And whatever else may be [***581]
      at every step in the proceedings against         said of those who wrote the Bill of Rights,
      him. Without it, though he be not guilty,        surely        there       can       be        no
                                                                                                  Page 39
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

 [*834] doubt that they understood the ines-           consequences of a conviction. It is the defen-
timable worth of free choice. n45                      dant, therefore, who must be free personally to
                                                       decide whether in his particular case counsel is
[***LEdHR11B] [11B]                                    to his advantage. And although he may conduct
                                                       his own defense ultimately to his own detri-
                                                       ment, his choice must be honored out of "that
          n44 See n. 38, supra, for colonial
                                                       respect for the individual which is the lifeblood
      appointment statutes that predate the
                                                       of the law." Illinois v. Allen, 397 U.S. 337,
      Sixth Amendment. Federal law provided
                                                       350-351 (BRENNAN, J., concurring). n46
      for appointment of counsel in capital
      cases at the request of the accused as ear-
                                                        [***LEdHR13B]    [13B] [***LEdHR14B]
      ly as 1790, 1 Stat. 118.
                                                       [14B]     [***LEdHR15B]          [15B]
          n45 See, e.g., U.S. Const., Amdt. 1.         [***LEdHR16B] [16B]
      Freedom of choice is not a stranger to the
      constitutional design of procedural pro-
                                                                  n46 We are told that many criminal
      tections for a defendant in a criminal
                                                              defendants representing themselves may
      proceeding. For example, "[e]very crimi-
                                                              use the courtroom for deliberate disrup-
      nal defendant is privileged to testify in
                                                              tion of their trials. But the right of self-
      his own defense, or to refuse to do so."
                                                              representation has been recognized from
      Harris v. New York, 401 U.S. 222, 225.
                                                              our beginnings by federal law and by
      See Brooks v. Tennessee, 406 U.S. 605,
                                                              most of the States, and no such result has
      612; Ferguson v. Georgia, 365 U.S.
                                                              thereby occurred. Moreover, the trial
      570. Cf. Brown v. United States, 356
                                                              judge may terminate self-representation
      U.S. 148.
                                                              by a defendant who deliberately engages
                                                              in serious and obstructionist misconduct.
                                                              See Illinois v. Allen, 397 U.S. 337. Of
                                                              course, a State may -- even over objec-
 [***LEdHR12] [12] [***LEdHR13A] [13A]                        tion by the accused -- appoint a "standby
[***LEdHR14A]         [14A] [***LEdHR15A]                     counsel" to aid the accused if and when
[15A] [***LEdHR16A] [16A]It is undeniable                     the accused requests help, and to be
that in most criminal prosecutions defendants                 available to represent the accused in the
could better defend with counsel's guidance                   event that termination of the defendant's
than by their own unskilled efforts. But where                self-representation is necessary. See
the defendant will not voluntarily accept repre-              United States v. Dougherty, 154 U.S.
sentation by counsel, the potential advantage of              App. D.C. 76, 87-89, 473 F. 2d 1113,
a lawyer's training and experience can be rea-                1124-1126.      The     right    of    self-
lized, if at all, only imperfectly. To force a                representation is not a license to abuse
lawyer on a defendant can only lead him to be-                the dignity of the courtroom. Neither is it
lieve that the law contrives against him. More-               a license not to comply with relevant
over, it is not inconceivable that in some rare               rules of procedural and substantive law.
instances, the defendant might in fact present                Thus, whatever else may or may not be
his case more effectively by conducting his                   open to him on appeal, a defendant who
own defense. Personal liberties are not rooted                elects to represent himself cannot the-
in the law of averages. The right to defend                   reafter complain that the quality of his
[**2541] is personal. The defendant, and not                  own defense amounted to a denial of "ef-
his lawyer or the State, will bear the personal               fective assistance of counsel."
                                            Page 40
    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83
                                                                                                 Page 41
                                   422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                               45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                      es of self-representation, so that the record will
    [*835] V
                                                      establish that "he knows what he is doing and
                                                      his choice is made with eyes open." Adams v.
 [***LEdHR17] [17]When an accused manag-
                                                      United States ex rel. McCann, 317 U.S., at
es his own defense, he relinquishes, as a purely
                                                      279.
factual matter, many of the traditional benefits
associated with the right to counsel. For this
                                                       [***LEdHR18A] [18A] [***LEdHR19] [19]
reason, in order to represent himself, the ac-
                                                      Here, weeks before trial, Faretta clearly and
cused must "knowingly and intelligently" forgo
                                                      unequivocally declared to the trial judge that he
those relinquished benefits. Johnson v. Zerbst,
                                                      wanted to represent himself and did not want
304 U.S., at 464-465. Cf. Von Moltke v. Gil-
                                                      counsel. The record affirmatively shows that
lies, 332 U.S. 708, 723-724 (plurality opinion
                                                      Faretta was literate, competent, and understand-
of Black, J.). Although a defendant need not
                                                      ing, and that he was voluntarily exercising his
himself have the skill and experience of a law-
yer in order competently and intelligently to         informed free will. The trial judge had warned
                                                      Faretta that he thought it was a mistake not to
[***582] choose self-representation, he should
                                                      accept
be made aware of the dangers and disadvantag-
                                                                                                 Page 42
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

 [*836] the assistance of counsel, and that Fa-         is remanded for further proceedings not incon-
retta would be required to follow all the               sistent with this opinion.
"ground rules" of trial procedure. n47 We need              It is so ordered.
make no assessment of how well or poorly Fa-
retta had mastered the intricacies of the hearsay
                                                        DISSENTBY:
rule and the California code provisions that go-
vern challenges of potential jurors on voir dire.           BURGER; BLACKMUN
n48 For his technical legal knowledge, as such,
was not relevant to an assessment of his know-          DISSENT:
ing exercise of the right to defend himself.                 [**2542] MR. CHIEF JUSTICE BURG-
                                                        ER, with whom MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN
          n47 See n. 2, supra.                          and MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST join, dissent-
                                                        ing.
          n48 See n. 3, supra.
                                                            This case, like Herring v. New York, post,
                                                        p. 853, announced today, is another example of
                                                        the judicial tendency to constitutionalize what
                                                        is thought "good." That effort fails on its own
  [***LEdHR18B] [18B]In forcing Faretta,                terms here, because there is nothing desirable
under these circumstances, to accept against his        or useful in permitting every accused person,
will a state-appointed public defender, the Cali-       even the most uneducated and inexperienced, to
fornia courts deprived him of his constitutional        insist upon conducting his own defense to crim-
right to conduct his own defense. Accordingly,          inal charges. n1 Moreover, there is no constitu-
the judgment before us is vacated, and the case         tional                 basis                 for
                                                                                                  Page 43
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                           I
     [*837] the Court's holding, and it can only
add to the problems of an already malfunction-               [***583] The most striking feature of the
ing criminal justice system. I therefore dissent.      Court's opinion is that it devotes so little dis-
                                                       cussion to the matter which it concedes is the
                                                       core of the decision, that is, discerning an inde-
          n1 Absent a statute giving a right to        pendent basis in the Constitution for the sup-
      self-representation, I believe that trial        posed right to represent oneself in a criminal
      courts should have discretion under the          trial. n2 See ante, at 818-821, and n. 15. Its
      Constitution to insist upon representation       ultimate assertion that such a right is tucked
      by counsel if the interests of justice so        between the lines of the Sixth Amendment is
      require. However, I would note that the          contradicted by the Amendment's language and
      record does not support the Court's cha-         its consistent judicial interpretation.
      racterization of this case as one in which
      that occurred. Although he requested,
      and initially was granted, permission to                      n2 The Court deliberately, and in my
      proceed pro se, petitioner has expressed                 view properly, declines to characterize
      no dissatisfaction with the lawyer who                   this case as one in which the defendant
      represented him and has not alleged that                 was denied a fair trial. See Herring v.
      his defense was impaired or that his law-                New York, post, at 871 (REHNQUIST,
      yer refused to honor his suggestions re-                 J., dissenting).
      garding how the trial should be con-
      ducted. In other words, to use the Court's           As the Court seems to recognize, ante, at
      phrase, petitioner has never contended           820, the conclusion that the rights guaranteed
      that "his defense" was not fully pre-            by the Sixth Amendment are "personal" to an
      sented. Instances of overbearing or inef-        accused reflects nothing more than the obvious
      fective counsel can be dealt with without        fact that it is he who is on trial and therefore
      contriving broad constitutional rules of         has need of a defense. n3 But neither that near-
      dubious validity.                                ly
                                                                                                  Page 44
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                              witnesses against him, to offer tes-
    [*838]     trivial proposition nor the lan-
                                                              timony, and to be represented by
guage of the Amendment, which speaks in un-
                                                              counsel." Id., at 273.
iformly mandatory terms, leads to the further
conclusion that the right to counsel is merely
supplementary and may be dispensed with at
the whim of the accused. Rather, this Court's          See also Argersinger v. Hamlin, 407 U.S. 25,
decisions have consistently included the right         27-33 (1972); Gideon v. Wainwright, 372
to counsel as an integral part of the bundle           U.S. 335, 344 (1963).
making up the larger "right to a defense as we
know it." For example, in In re Oliver, 333                The reason for this hardly requires explana-
U.S. 257 (1948), the Court reversed a summary          tion. The fact of the matter is that in all but an
contempt conviction at the hands of a "one-man         extraordinarily small number of cases an ac-
grand jury," and had this to say:                      cused will lose whatever defense he may have
                                                       if he undertakes to conduct the trial himself.
          "We... hold that failure to af-              The Court's opinion in Powell v. Alabama,
      ford the petitioner a reasonable op-             287 U.S. 45 (1932), puts the point eloquently:
      portunity to defend himself against
      the charge of false and evasive                              [***584] "Even the intelligent
      swearing was a denial of due                            and educated layman has small and
      process of law. A person's right to                     sometimes no skill in the science
      reasonable notice of a charge                           of law. If charged with crime, he is
      against him, and an opportunity to                      incapable, generally, of determin-
      be heard in his defense - a right to                    ing for himself whether the indict-
      his day in court - are basic in our                     ment is good or bad. He is unfami-
      system of jurisprudence; and these                      liar with the rules of evidence. Left
      rights include, as a minimum, a                         without the aid of counsel he may
      right [**2543] to examine the
                                                                                              Page 45
                               422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                           45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                         do not vary depending upon whether the
      [*839] be put on trial without
                                                         accused would have preferred to
a proper charge, and convicted
                                                         represent himself.
upon incompetent evidence, or
evidence irrelevant to the issue or
otherwise inadmissible. He lacks                      Obviously, these considerations do not vary
both the skill and knowledge ade-                 depending upon whether the accused actively
quately to prepare his defense,                   desires to be represented by counsel or wishes
even though he have a perfect one.                to proceed pro se. Nor is it accurate to suggest,
He requires the guiding hand of                   as the Court seems to later in its opinion, that
counsel at every step in the pro-                 the quality of his representation at trial is a mat-
ceedings against him. Without it,                 ter with which only the accused is legitimately
though he be not guilty, he faces                 concerned. See ante, at 834. Although we have
the danger of conviction because                  adopted an adversary system of criminal jus-
he does not know how to establish                 tice, see Gideon v. Wainwright, supra, the
his innocence. If that be true of                 prosecution is more than an ordinary litigant,
men of intelligence, how much                     and the trial judge is not simply an automaton
more true is it of the ignorant and               who insures that technical rules are adhered to.
illiterate, or those of feeble intel-             Both are charged with the duty of insuring that
lect." Id., at 69.                                justice, in the broadest sense of that term, is
                                                  achieved in every criminal trial. See Brady v.
                                                  Maryland, 373 U.S. 83, 87, and n. 2 (1963);
                                                  Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78, 88
                                                  (1935). That goal is ill-served, and the integrity
    n3 The Court's attempt to derive sup-
                                                  of and public confidence in the system are un-
port for its position from the fact that the
                                                  dermined, when an easy conviction is obtained
Sixth Amendment speaks in terms of the
                                                  due to the defendant's ill-advised decision to
"Assistance of Counsel" requires little
                                                  waive counsel. The damage thus inflicted is not
comment. It is most curious to suggest
                                                  mitigated by the lame explanation that the de-
that an accused who exercises his right to
                                                  fendant simply availed himself of the "free-
"assistance" has thereby impliedly con-
                                                  dom" "to go to jail under his own banner...."
sented to subject himself to a "master."
                                                  United      States     ex     rel.     Maldonado
Ante, at 820. And counsel's responsibili-
ty to his client and role in the litigation
                                                                                                 Page 46
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                            [***585] II
    [*840] v. Denno, 348 F. 2d 12, 15 (CA2
1965). The system of criminal justice should                The Court's attempt to support its result by
not be available as an instrument of self-              collecting dicta from prior decisions is no more
destruction.                                            persuasive than its analysis of the Sixth
                                                        Amendment. Considered in context, the cases
     In short, both the "spirit and the logic" of
                                                        upon which the Court relies to "beat its path"
the Sixth Amendment are that every person ac-
                                                        either lead it nowhere or point in precisely the
cused of crime shall receive the fullest possible
                                                        opposite direction.
defense; in the vast majority of cases this
command can be honored only by means of the                 In Adams v. United States ex rel. McCann,
expressly guaranteed right to counsel, and the          317 U.S. 269 (1942), and Carter v. Illinois,
trial judge is in the best position to determine        329 U.S. 173 (1946), the defendants had com-
whether the accused is capable of conducting            petently waived counsel but later sought to re-
his defense. True freedom of choice and socie-          nounce actions taken by them while proceeding
ty's interest in seeing that justice is achieved        pro se. In both cases this Court upheld the
can be vindicated only if the trial court retains       convictions, holding that neither an uncoun-
discretion to reject any attempted waiver of            seled waiver of jury trial nor an uncounseled
counsel and insist that the accused be tried ac-        guilty plea is inherently defective under the
cording to the Constitution. This discretion is         Constitution. The language which the Court so
as critical an element of basic fairness as a trial     carefully excises from those opinions relates,
judge's discretion to decline to accept a plea of       not to an affirmative right of self-
[**2544] guilty. See Santobello v. New York,            representation,             but              to
404 U.S. 257, 262 (1971).
                                                                                                  Page 47
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                        statement impossible to square with the Court's
      [*841] the consequences of waiver. n4 In
                                                        present holding that an accused is absolutely
Adams, for example, Mr. Justice Frankfurter
                                                        entitled to dispense with a lawyer's help under
was careful to point out that his reference to a
                                                        all conditions. Thus, although Adams and
defendant's "correlative right to dispense with a
                                                        Carter support the Court's conclusion that a
lawyer's help" meant only that "[h]e may waive
                                                        defendant who represents himself may not the-
his Constitutional right to assistance of coun-
                                                        reafter disaffirm his deliberate trial decisions,
sel...," 317 U.S., at 279. See United States v.
                                                        see ante, at 834-835, n. 46, they provide it no
Warner, 428 F. 2d 730, 733 (CA8 1970). But,
                                                        comfort regarding the primary issue in this
as the Court recognizes, the power to waive a
                                                        case. n5
constitutional right does not carry with it the
right to insist upon its opposite. Singer v.
United States, 380 U.S. 24, 34-35 (1965).                          n5 No more relevant is Snyder v.
                                                               Massachusetts, 291 U.S. 97 (1934). The
                                                               reference in that case to an accused's
          n4 Indeed, the portion of the Court's
                                                               "power... to supersede his lawyers" simp-
      quotation which warns against turning
                                                               ly helped explain why his defense might
      constitutional protections into "fetters"
                                                               "be made easier" if he were "permitted to
      refers to the right to trial by jury, not the
                                                               be present at the examination of jurors or
      right to counsel. See Adams v. United
                                                               the summing up of counsel...." Id., at
      States ex rel. McCann, 317 U.S. 269,
                                                               106. Mr. Justice Cardozo's opinion for
      279 (1942). This Court has, of course,
                                                               the Court made plain that this right was
      squarely held that there is no constitu-
                                                               rooted in considerations of fundamental
      tional right to dispense with a jury. Sing-
                                                               fairness, and was to be distinguished
      er v. United States, 380 U.S. 24 (1965).
                                                               from those conferred by the Confronta-
                                                               tion Clause. See id., at 107. The Court's
    Similarly, in Carter the Court's opinion ob-               present reliance on the Snyder dicta is
served that the Constitution "does not require                 therefore misplaced. See n. 2, supra.
that under all circumstances counsel be forced
upon a defendant," citing Adams. 329 U.S., at
174-175 (emphasis added). I, for one, find this
                                                                                                   Page 48
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                              cessary withdrawal or limitation of
     [*842] Far more nearly in point is Price
                                                              many privileges and rights, a re-
v. Johnston, 334 U.S. 266 [***586] (1948),
                                                              traction justified by the considera-
where this Court held that, although the courts
                                                              tions underlying our penal system.
of appeals possess the power to command that
                                                              Among those so limited is the oth-
a prisoner be produced to argue his own appeal,
                                                              erwise unqualified right given by §
the exercise of that power is a matter of sound
                                                              272 of the Judicial Code, 28
judicial discretion. An examination of the
                                                              U.S.C. § 394 [now § 1654], to
whole of the Court's reasoning on this point is
                                                              parties in all the courts of the Unit-
instructive:
                                                              ed States to 'plead and manage
          "The discretionary nature of                        their own causes personally.'" Id.,
      the power in question grows out of                      at 285-286 (citations omitted).
      the fact that a prisoner has no abso-
      lute right to argue his own appeal
      or even to be present at the pro-
                                                       It barely requires emphasis that this passage
      ceedings in an appellate court. The
                                                       contrasts the "constitutional prerogative" to be
      absence of that [**2545] right is
                                                       present at trial with the "recognized privilege"
      in sharp contrast to his constitu-
                                                       of self-representation, and strongly implies that
      tional prerogative of being present
                                                       the latter arises only from the federal statute. It
      in person at each significant stage
                                                       is difficult to imagine a position less consistent
      of a felony prosecution, and to his
                                                       with Price v. Johnston than that taken by the
      recognized privilege of conducting
                                                       Court today.
      his own defense at the trial. Lawful
      incarceration brings about the ne-
                                                                                                  Page 49
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                        the Sixth Amendment, it is a perversion of the
     [*843] The Court of Appeals cases relied
                                                        provision to which we gave full meaning in
upon by the Court are likewise dubious authori-
                                                        Gideon v. Wainwright and Argersinger v.
ty for its views. Only one of those cases, United
                                                        Hamlin.
States v. Plattner, 330 F. 2d 271 (CA2 1964),
even attempted a reasoned analysis of the issue,            III
and the decision in that case was largely based             Like MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN, I hesi-
upon the misreading of Adams and Price                  tate to participate in the Court's attempt to use
which the Court perpetuates in its opinion to-          history to take it where legal analysis cannot.
day. See 330 F.2d at 275. In every other case           Piecing together shreds of English legal history
cited ante, at 817, the Courts of Appeals as-           and early state constitutional and statutory pro-
sumed that the right of self-representation was         visions, without a full elaboration of the con-
constitutionally based but found that the right         text in which they occurred or any evidence
had not been violated and affirmed the convic-          that they were relied upon by the drafters of our
tion under review. It is highly questionable            Federal Constitution, creates more questions
whether such holdings would even establish the          than it answers [***587] and hardly provides
law of the Circuits from which they came.               the firm foundation upon which the creation of
     In short, what the Court represents as a           new constitutional rights should rest. We are
well-traveled road is in reality a constitutional       well reminded that this Court once employed
trail which it is blazing for the first time today,     an exhaustive analysis of English and colonial
one that has not even been hinted at in our pre-        practices               regarding             the
vious decisions. Far from an interpretation of
                                                                                                  Page 50
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                        under discussion since the 1787 Constitutional
     [*844] right to counsel to justify the con-
                                                        Convention. And it would be [**2546] most
clusion that it was fundamental to a fair trial
                                                        remarkable to suggest, had the right to conduct
and, less than 10 years later, used essentially
                                                        one's own defense been considered so critical
the same material to conclude that it was not.
                                                        as to require constitutional protection, that it
Compare Powell v. Alabama, 287 U.S., at 60-
                                                        would have been left to implication. Rather,
65, with Betts v. Brady, 316 U.S. 455, 465-
                                                        under traditional canons of construction, inclu-
471 (1942).
                                                        sion of the right in the Judiciary Act and its
    As if to illustrate this point, the single his-     omission from the constitutional amendment
torical fact cited by the Court which would ap-         drafted at the same time by many of the same
pear truly relevant to ascertaining the meaning         men, supports the conclusion that the omission
of the Sixth Amendment proves too much. As              was intentional.
the Court points out, ante, at 831, § 35 of the
                                                            There is no way to reconcile the idea that
Judiciary Act of 1789 provided a statutory right
                                                        the Sixth Amendment impliedly guaranteed the
to self-representation in federal criminal trials.
                                                        right of an accused to conduct his own defense
The text of the Sixth Amendment, which ex-
                                                        with the contemporaneous action of the Con-
pressly provides only for a right to counsel, was
                                                        gress in passing a statute explicitly giving that
proposed the day after the Judiciary Act was
                                                        right. If the Sixth Amendment created a right to
signed. It can hardly be suggested that the
                                                        self-representation it was unnecessary for Con-
Members of the Congress of 1789, then few in
                                                        gress to enact any statute on the subject at all.
number, were unfamiliar with the Amendment's
carefully structured language, which had been
                                                                                                  Page 51
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                       tion, their potential effect upon the resources of
     [*845] In this case, therefore, history
                                                       our criminal justice system will be considered.
ought to lead judges to conclude that the Con-
                                                       However, such considerations are conspicuous-
stitution leaves to the judgment of legislatures,
                                                       ly absent from the Court's opinion in this case.
and the flexible process of statutory amend-
ment, the question whether criminal defendants             It hardly needs repeating that [***588]
should be permitted to conduct their trials pro        courts at all levels are already handicapped by
se. See Betts v. Brady, supra. And the fact that       the unsupplied demand for competent advo-
we have not hinted at a contrary view for 185          cates, with the result that it often takes far
years is surely entitled to some weight in the         longer to complete a given case than expe-
scales. n6 Cf. Jackman v. Rosenbaum Co.,               rienced counsel would require. If we were to
260 U.S. 22, 31 (1922).                                assume that there will be widespread exercise
                                                       of the newly discovered constitutional right to
                                                       self-representation, it would almost certainly
          n6 The fact that Congress has re-            follow that there will be added congestion in
      tained a statutory right to self-                the courts and that the quality of justice will
      representation suggests that it has also         suffer. Moreover, the Court blandly assumes
      assumed that the Sixth Amendment does            that once an accused has elected to defend him-
      not guarantee such a right. See 28 U.S.C.        self he will be bound by his choice and not be
      § 1654.                                          heard to complain of it later. Ante, at 834-835,
                                                       n. 46. This assumption ignores the role of ap-
   IV                                                  pellate review, for the reported cases are replete
                                                       with instances of a convicted defendant being
   Society has the right to expect that, when          relieved                    of                   a
courts find new rights implied in the Constitu-
                                                                                                   Page 52
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                          MR. JUSTICE BLACKMUN, with whom
    [*846] deliberate decision even when
                                                        THE CHIEF JUSTICE and MR. JUSTICE
made with the advice of counsel. See Silber v.
                                                        REHNQUIST join, dissenting.
United States, 370 U.S. 717 (1962). It is totally
unrealistic, therefore, to suggest that an accused          Today the Court holds that the Sixth
will always be held to the consequences of a            Amendment guarantees to every defendant in a
decision to conduct his own defense. Unless, as         state criminal trial the right to proceed without
may be the case, most persons accused of crime          counsel whenever he [**2547] elects to do so.
have more wit than to insist upon the dubious           I find no textual support for this conclusion in
benefit that the Court confers today, we can            the language of the Sixth Amendment. I find
expect that many expensive and good-faith               the historical evidence relied upon by the Court
prosecutions will be nullified on appeal for rea-       to be unpersuasive, especially in light of the
sons that trial courts are now deprived of the          recent history of criminal procedure. Finally, I
power to prevent. n7                                    fear that the right to self-representation consti-
                                                        tutionalized today frequently will cause proce-
                                                        dural confusion without advancing any signifi-
          n7 Some of the damage we can antic-           cant strategic interest of the defendant. I there-
      ipate from a defendant's ill-advised insis-       fore dissent.
      tence on conducting his own defense
                                                            I
      may be mitigated by appointing a quali-
      fied lawyer to sit in the case as the tradi-         The starting point, of course, is the lan-
      tional "friend of the court." The Court           guage of the Sixth Amendment:
      does not foreclose this option. See ante,                       "In all criminal prosecutions,
      at 834-835, n. 46.                                        the            accused         shall
                                                                                                   Page 53
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                        recognizes, however, ante, at 819-820, n. 15,
           [*847] enjoy the right to a
                                                        that it has squarely rejected any mechanical in-
      speedy and public trial, by an im-
                                                        terpretation of the Bill of Rights. Mr. Chief Jus-
      partial jury of the State and district
                                                        tice Warren, speaking for a unanimous Court in
      wherein the crime shall have been
                                                        Singer v. United States, 380 U.S. 24, 34-35
      committed, which district shall
                                                        (1965), stated: "The ability to waive a constitu-
      have been previously ascertained
                                                        tional right does not ordinarily carry with it the
      by law, and to be informed of the
                                                        right to insist upon the opposite of that right."
      nature and cause of the accusation;
      to be confronted with the witnesses                   Where then in the Sixth Amendment does
      against him; to have compulsory                   one find this right to self-representation? Ac-
      process for obtaining witnesses in                cording to the Court, it is "necessarily implied
      his favor, and to have the Assis-                 by the structure of the Amendment." Ante, at
      tance of Counsel for his defence."                819. The Court's chain of inferences is delicate
                                                        and deserves scrutiny. The Court starts with the
                                                        proposition that the Sixth Amendment is "a
    It is self-evident that the Amendment
                                                        compact statement of the rights necessary to a
[***589] makes no direct reference to self-
                                                        full defense." Ante, at 818. From this proposi-
representation. Indeed, the Court concedes that
                                                        tion the Court concludes that the Sixth
the right to self-representation is "not stated in
                                                        Amendment "constitutionalizes the right in an
the Amendment in so many words." Ante, at
                                                        adversary criminal trial to make a defense as
819.
                                                        we know it." Ibid. Up to this point, at least as a
    It could be argued that the right to assis-         general proposition, the Court's reasoning is
tance of counsel necessarily carries with it the        unexceptionable.
right to waive assistance of counsel. The Court
                                                                                                  Page 54
                                    422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                           The Court suggests that thrusting counsel
     [*848] The Court, however, then con-
                                                       upon the accused against his considered wish
cludes that because the specific rights in the
                                                       violates the logic of the Sixth Amendment be-
Sixth Amendment are personal to the accused,
                                                       cause counsel is to be an assistant, not a master.
the accused must have a right to exercise those
                                                       The Court seeks to support its conclusion by
rights personally. Stated somewhat more suc-
                                                       historical analogy to the notorious procedures
cinctly, the Court reasons that because the ac-
                                                       of the Star Chamber. The potential for exagge-
cused has a personal right to "a defense as we
                                                       rated analogy, however, is markedly dimi-
know it," he necessarily has a right to make that
                                                       nished when one recalls that petitioner is seek-
defense personally. I disagree. Although I be-
                                                       ing an absolute right to [**2548] self-
lieve the specific guarantees of the Sixth
                                                       representation. This is not a case where defense
Amendment are personal to the accused, I do
                                                       counsel, against the wishes of the defendant or
not agree that the Sixth Amendment guarantees
                                                       with inadequate consultation, has adopted a tri-
any particular procedural method of asserting
those rights. If an accused has enjoyed a speedy       al strategy that significantly affects one of the
                                                       accused's constitutional rights. For such over-
trial by an impartial jury in which he was in-
                                                       bearing conduct by counsel, there is a remedy.
formed of the nature of the accusation, con-
                                                       Brookhart v. Janis, 384 U.S. 1 (1966); Fay v.
fronted with the witnesses against him, af-
                                                       Noia, 372 U.S. 391, 439 (1963). [***590]
forded the power of compulsory process, and
                                                       Nor is this a case where distrust, animosity, or
represented effectively by competent counsel, I
                                                       other personal differences between the accused
do not see that the Sixth Amendment requires
                                                       and his would-be counsel have rendered effec-
more.
                                                       tive representation unlikely or impossible.
                                                                                                   Page 55
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                            The Court seems to suggest that so long as
     [*849] See Brown v. Craven, 424 F.2d
                                                        the accused is willing to pay the consequences
1166, 1169-1170 (CA9 1970). See also Anders
                                                        of his folly, there is no reason for not allowing
v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967). Nor is this
                                                        a defendant the right to self-representation.
even a case where a defendant has been forced,
                                                        Ante, at 834. See also United States ex rel.
against his wishes to expend his personal re-
                                                        Maldonado v. Denno, 348 F. 2d 12, 15 (CA2
sources to pay for counsel for his defense. See
                                                        1965) ("[E]ven in cases where the accused is
generally Fuller v. Oregon, 417 U.S. 40
                                                        harming himself by insisting on conducting his
(1974); James v. Strange, 407 U.S. 128
                                                        own defense, respect for individual autonomy
(1972). Instead, the Court holds that any defen-
                                                        requires that he be allowed to go to jail under
dant in any criminal proceeding may insist on
                                                        his own banner if he so desires..."). That view
representing himself regardless of how com-
                                                        ignores the established principle that the inter-
plex the trial is likely to be and regardless of
                                                        est of the State in a criminal prosecution "is not
how frivolous the defendant's motivations may
be. I cannot agree that there is anything in the        that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be
                                                        done." Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78,
Due Process Clause or the Sixth Amendment
                                                        88 (1935). See also Singer v. United States,
that requires the States to subordinate the so-
                                                        380 U.S., at 37. For my part, I do not believe
lemn business of conducting a criminal prose-
                                                        that any amount of pro se pleading can cure
cution to the whimsical -- albeit voluntary --
                                                        the injury to society of an unjust result, but I do
caprice of every accused who wishes to use his
                                                        believe that a just result should prove to be an
trial as a vehicle for personal or political self-
                                                        effective balm for almost any frustrated pro se
gratification.
                                                        defendant.
                                                                                                   Page 56
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                        assistance of counsel but remained conspi-
    [*850] II
                                                        cuously silent on [***591] any right of self-
    The Court argues that its conclusion is sup-        representation. The Court believes that this si-
ported by the historical evidence on self-              lence of the Sixth Amendment as to the latter
representation. It is true that self-representation     right is evidence of the Framers' belief that the
was common, if not required, in 18th century            right was so obvious and fundamental that it
English and American prosecutions. The Court            did not need to be included "in so many words"
points with special emphasis to the guarantees          in order to be [**2549] protected by the
of self-representation in colonial charters, early      Amendment. I believe it is at least equally
state constitutions, and § 35 of the first Judi-        plausible to conclude that the Amendment's
ciary Act as evidence contemporaneous with              silence as to the right of self-representation in-
the Bill of Rights of widespread recognition of         dicates that the Framers simply did not have the
a right to self-representation.                         subject in mind when they drafted the lan-
    I do not participate in the Court's reliance        guage.
on the historical evidence. To begin with, the              The paucity of historical support for the
historical evidence seems to me to be inconclu-         Court's position becomes far more profound
sive in revealing the original understanding of         when one examines it against the background
the language of the Sixth Amendment. At the             of two developments in the more recent history
time the Amendment was first proposed, both             of criminal procedure. First, until the middle of
the right to self-representation and the right to       the 19th century, the defendant in a criminal
assistance of counsel in federal prosecutions           proceeding in this country was almost always
were guaranteed by statute. The Sixth Amend-            disqualified
ment expressly constitutionalized the right to
                                                                                                   Page 57
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                        abama, 287 U.S. 45 (1932), to Argersinger v.
     [*851] from testifying as a witness be-
                                                        Hamlin, 407 U.S. 25 (1972), need not be re-
cause of his "interest" in the outcome. See gen-
                                                        counted here. For our purposes, it is sufficient
erally Ferguson v. Georgia, 365 U.S. 570
                                                        to recall that from start to finish the develop-
(1961). Thus, the ability to defend "in person"
                                                        ment of the right to counsel has been based on
was frequently the defendant's only chance to
                                                        the premise that representation by counsel is
present his side of the case to the judge or jury.
                                                        essential to ensure a fair trial. The Court con-
See, e.g., Wilson v. State, 50 Tenn. 232
                                                        cedes this and acknowledges that "a strong ar-
(1871). Such Draconian rules of evidence, of
                                                        gument can surely be made that the whole
course, are now a relic of the past because vir-
                                                        thrust of those decisions must inevitably lead to
tually every State has passed a statute abrogat-
                                                        the conclusion that a State may constitutionally
ing the common-law rule of disqualification.
                                                        impose a lawyer upon even an unwilling defen-
See Ferguson v. Georgia, 365 U.S., at 575-
                                                        dant." Ante, at 833. Nevertheless, the Court
577, 596. With the abolition of the common-
law disqualification, the right to appear "in per-      concludes that self-representation must be al-
                                                        lowed despite the obvious dangers of unjust
son" as well as by counsel lost most, if not all,
                                                        convictions in order to protect the individual
of its original importance. See Grano, The
                                                        defendant's right of free choice. As I have al-
Right to Counsel: Collateral Issues Affecting
                                                        ready indicated, I cannot agree to such a drastic
Due Process, 54 Minn. L. Rev. 1175, 1192-
                                                        curtailment of the interest of the State in seeing
1194 (1970).
                                                        that justice is done in a real and objective
   The second historical development is this            sense.
Court's elaboration of the right to counsel. The
road the Court has traveled from Powell v. Al-
                                                                                                   Page 58
                                     422 U.S. 806, *; 95 S. Ct. 2525, **;
                                 45 L. Ed. 2d 562, ***; 1975 U.S. LEXIS 83

                                                        tows a constitutional right on one to make a
    [*852] III
                                                        fool of himself.
     In conclusion, I note briefly the procedural
problems that, I suspect, today's decision will         REFERENCES: Return To Full Text Opinion
visit upon trial courts in the future. Although
the Court indicates that a pro se defendant
necessarily waives any claim he might other-            21 Am Jur 2d, Criminal Law 310
wise make of ineffective assistance of counsel,
ante, at 834-835, n. 46, the opinion leaves             USCS, Constitution, 6th and 14th Amendments
open a host of other procedural questions. Must
every defendant [***592] be advised of his              US L Ed Digest, Criminal Law 46, 46.3
right to proceed pro se? If so, when must that
notice be given? Since the right to assistance of       ALR Digests, Criminal Law 110, 111
counsel and the right to self-representation are
mutually exclusive, how is the waiver of each           L Ed Index to Annos, Criminal Law
right to be measured? If a defendant has elected
to exercise his right to proceed pro se, does he        ALR Quick Index, Assistance of Counsel;
still have a constitutional right to assistance of      Criminal Law
standby counsel? How soon in the criminal
proceeding must a defendant decide between              Federal Quick Index, Assistance of Counsel;
proceeding by counsel or pro se? Must he be             Criminal Law
allowed to switch in midtrial? May a violation
of the right to self-representation ever be harm-                            Annotation References:
less error? Must the trial court treat the pro se
                                                            Accused's right, under Federal Constitution,
defendant differently than it would professional
                                                        to be present at his trial. 25 L Ed 2d 931.
counsel? I assume that many of these questions
will be answered with finality in due course.              Federal constitutional right to confront wit-
Many of them, however, such as the standards            nesses. 23 L Ed 2d 853.
of waiver and the treatment of the pro se de-               What provisions of the Federal Constitu-
fendant, will haunt the trial of every defendant        tion's Bill of Rights are applicable to the states.
who elects to exercise his right to self-               18 L Ed 2d 1388; 23 L Ed 2d 985.
representation. The procedural [**2550] prob-
lems spawned by an absolute right to self-                  Accused's right to counsel under the Feder-
representation will far outweigh whatever tac-          al Constitution . 93 L Ed 137; 2 L Ed 2d 1644;
tical advantage the defendant may feel he has           9 L Ed 2d 1260; 18 L Ed 2d 1420.
gained by electing to represent himself.                   Right of defendant in criminal case to con-
    If there is any truth to the old proverb that       duct defense in person, or to participate with
"one who is his own lawyer has a fool for a             counsel. 77 ALR2d 1233.
client," the Court by its opinion today now bes-
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