NPR

Supreme Court Upholds Individual Rights In 2 Key Criminal Justice Cases

The court decided only the accused have a right to profess guilt or innocence, not a lawyer. And in the age of Zipcar, you still maintain a right to privacy even if you aren't on a rental agreement.

The Supreme Court handed down five decisions Monday, and one that could pave a path for legalizing sports gambling throughout the country got most of the attention Monday morning. But the court also decided two important criminal-justice and personal rights cases.

In one, McCoy v. Louisiana, the court ruled by a 6-3 margin in favor of a defendant whose lawyer told a jury that his client was guilty, disregarding the explicit instructions of his client. His lawyer wanted him to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty.

"Guaranteeing a defendant the right 'to have

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR5 min read
Replacing Plastic: Can Bacteria Help Us Break The Habit?
Entrepreneurs are eager to find substitutes for plastic that naturally degrade. One option is a "natural" plastic made by microbes and then eaten by them. But the process is still in early days.
NPR12 min readPolitics
Tobacco's 'Special Friend': What Internal Documents Say About Mitch McConnell
The Senate majority leader wants to raise the age for tobacco sales to 21. An NPR review of once-secret documents shows how closely McConnell has worked with the industry over decades.
NPR5 min read
A Year After Spinal Surgery, A $94,000 Bill Feels Like A Backbreaker
A service called neuromonitoring can cut the risk of nerve damage during delicate surgery. But some patients are receiving large bills they didn't expect.