The Supreme Court on Thursday said that defendants found mentally competent to stand trial are not necessarily also competent to represent themselves at the trial. As a result, the Court ruled by a 7-2 vote that states may insist that mentally ill defendants be represented by counsel when "they are not competent to conduct trial proceedings by themselves." Writing in dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia accused the majority of being politically incorrect in its treatment of the mentally ill.
Supreme Court Limits Self-Representation by Mentally Ill Defendants
June 20, 2008