UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a death row inmate, who argued that his constitutional rights were violated when his lawyer told the jury he was guilty, even though the inmate wanted to maintain his innocence.
In a 6-3 decision on May 14, the Supreme Court ruled that a lawyer cannot tell a jury that his client is guilty without the defendant’s consent, even if the evidence of guilt is overwhelming or the lawyer feels it would be a good legal strategy.
The ruling is a win for death row inmate Robert McCoy, who was convicted of killing of three people in 2008.
The evidence against McCoy was overwhelming, but McCoy ordered his lawyer, Larry English, to maintain his innocence.
English, instead, told the jury McCoy had “snapped” and committed the murders, in hopes of sparing his client from the death penalty.
McCoy will be granted a new trial.