Finding that his court-appointed lawyers did nothing during his competency hearing, a federal judge has overturned a 1986 death penalty imposed on a bank robber who insisted on representing himself and said he welcomed death as a punishment.

Although both lawyers insisted they were merely “stand-by” counsel to Martin Appel, U.S. District Judge William H. Yohn ruled that they were legally his lawyers during his competency hearing and should have acted as his advocates until the court ruled that he was competent to waive his right to counsel.

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