Kidd v. Lemke

Federal 7th Circuit Court
Criminal Court
Right to Counsel
Case Number: 
No. 12-2614
Decision Date: 
November 1, 2013
Federal District: 
N.D. Ill., E. Div.
Dist. Ct. did not err in denying defendant’s habeas petition challenging his murder conviction on grounds that state trial court denied defendant’s right to counsel by failing to ensure that his decision to waive trial counsel was either knowing or voluntary. Trial court explicitly warned defendant about hazards of self-representation and gave him one week to think about decision before accepting waiver of counsel. Moreover, while defendant, in citing to his borderline mental retardation IQ score, argued that he did not subjectively understand instant waiver, defendant could not identify any fact that should have alerted trial court to suspect that defendant had impaired faculties, where record showed that defendant was lucid and responsive throughout pre-trial proceedings. Defendant also did not suggest to trial court at time of waiver that he had difficult relationship with his counsel.