Skip to comments.Suspect in Ark. soldier death can't represent self
Posted on 07/18/2011 1:44:32 PM PDT by Hunton Peck
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) A convert to Islam who wanted a big stage to espouse his political beliefs won't be able to speak directly to jurors after a judge ruled he can't serve as his own attorney during a murder trial for the fatal shooting of a soldier outside a Little Rock recruiting center.
Abdulhakim Muhammad, 26, could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Pvt. William Andrew Long. He has said he killed Long and wounded Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula to avenge U.S. military action in the Middle East.
Pulaski County Circuit Judge Herbert Wright seated two jurors by mid-afternoon Monday after he and lawyers questioned potential panelists about their thoughts on the death penalty, mental illness and Islam.
Most of those questioned had heard of the case and among those turned away was a woman who said she had not only formed an opinion, but she could "absolutely" vote to kill the defendant.
Wright has set aside two weeks for the trial, with perhaps several days of jury selection. Of the first 50 or so potential jurors, only four said they had not heard about the June 1, 2009, shooting at a west Little Rock shopping center. The judge asked them and the others to not research the case.
(Excerpt) Read more at centurylink.net ...
“Abdulhakim Muhammad, 26, could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Pvt. William Andrew Long. He has said he killed Long and wounded Pvt. Quinton Ezeagwula to avenge U.S. military action in the Middle East. “
Translation, “I committed murder, but it’s the government’s fault.”
This sucks - the judge is preventing him from declaring that he was following the teachings of Islam in committing the murder, and possibly demanding 1st Amendment religious protection as well.
Cant have the sheeple seeing things too clearly, now can we, your honor?
Reversible error. You have the absolute right to serve as your own attorney, unless you have insufficient mental faculties.
That seems to be what the judge found:
"I do not believe he's competent to represent himself," the judge said.
Why can't he receive the death penalty right now? Looks like a combatant who should be dispatched.