SAND is a
Dunn LLP and
is licensed to
He focuses his practice on civil
litigation, with emphasis on securities, employment, and other commercial matters. He was recently
inducted as a fellow into the American College of Trial Lawyers. Sand
can be reached at 503-205-2475 or
at email@example.com. The
author gratefully acknowledges the
research and writing assistance of
1. Wash. Const. art. I, § 22; State v.
Kolocotronis, 73 Wash. 2d 92, 436
P.2d 774 (1968); State v. Hahn,
106 Wash. 2d 885, 726 P.2d 25 (1986).
2. See In re Personal Restraint of Rhome, 172
Wash. 2d 654, 260 P.3d 874 (2011).
3. The standard of competence to stand trial
was established in Dusky v. United States, 362
U.S. 402 (1960). Under Dusky, a defendant
is competent to stand trial only if he understands the nature of the charges against him
and is capable of rationally assisting in his
4. In the interests of privacy and brevity, names
have been changed and minor details have
5. He could have been charged with one count
of reckless endangerment or assault.
6. Robin A. LaDue and Tom Dunne, “Legal Issues and the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome,” 3 FEN
Pen 6 (Fall 1995).
7. Timothy E. Moore and Melvyn Green, “Fetal
Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD): A Need
for Closer Examination by the Criminal Justice System,” 19 Crim. Rep. 6th (Can.) 99-108
9. The accomplice, Joe, who drove the getaway
car after the shooting, was sentenced to one
year and one day, later reduced to seven
10. Rhome, 172 Wash. 2d 654.
11. Hahn, 106 Wash. 2d at 895 (citing State v.
Jones, 99 Wash. 2d 735, 741, 664 P.2d 1216
12. Rhome, 172 Wash. 2d at 665. In Rhome, the
court refers to the following cases: Indiana v.
Edwards, 554 U. S. 164 (2008) (a defendant’s
right to self-representation may be denied
when although competent to stand trial, he
is found to be incompetent to represent
himself); Kolocotronis, 73 Wash. 2d 92 (a
trial court may deny a defendant’s waiver of
counsel when, although competent to stand
trial, the defendant is not competent to con-
duct his own defense); Hahn, 106 Wash. 2d
885 (affirming the trial court’s decision to
allow a paranoid schizophrenic defendant
to proceed pro se without inquiry into his
13. Rhome, 172 Wash. 2d at 663 n. 2 (emphasis
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I recently defended a young man.
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criminal history, he’s the sole
parent of a toddler. Facing a
five year sentence on a four
count felony, he likely would
have died in prison. I fought
for him, asserting that his life
is larger than his mistakes. The
Judge agreed. He and his family
have a second chance.
14. Id. at 665 at n. 3 (“[A] defendant’s mental
health status is but one factor a trial court
may consider in determining whether a
defendant has knowingly and intelligently
waived his right to counsel, but they do not require us to find that an independent determination of competency for self-representation
is a constitutional mandate”).
15. Kolocotronis, 73 Wash. 2d at 99.
16. In re Meade, 103 Wash. 2d 374, 693 P.2d 713
17. Id. at 380–81.