Bad Ideas, Crime, Pro Se Litigants, Trials, Violence

It’s Like Having Hannibal Lecter as a Client

It’s been a week of violence here at Above the Law. Between the murder-suicide guy and the judge who beat his disabled daughter, there’s been too much disturbing sadness.

Here at Above the Law, we prefer violence that is maybe, just a little, funny. For those who appreciate the lighter side of crime, we’ve got Joshua Monson. Here’s a guy who has stabbed his way out of his right to an attorney.

How do you lose this fundamental right to representation? Well, by stabbing all of your representation….

None of Monson’s lawyers/victims were seriously hurt, so it’s okay to laugh at this thing like it’s a Monty Python skit. I mean, who goes around just stabbing their defense attorneys in real life? Here’s the story (via HeraldNet in Washington):

Monson, 28, already charged with attacking two defense attorneys, allegedly stabbed his third attorney Tuesday.

Snohomish County Superior Court Judge David Kurtz refused to declare a second mistrial. Instead, the judge ruled Monson has forfeited his right to be represented by counsel because of his courtroom behavior. The judge cited case law. He told Monson he’s on his own in a trial on a felony drug charge.

Kurtz also ordered Monson to be strapped down in a special chair during the rest of the trial.

Did they wheel him around on the Hannibal Lecter gurney? I imagine him sitting there saying, “A lawyer tried to depose me once. I stabbed his liver, then had it with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”

For God’s sake, the court tried to protect the third attorney from Stabby Monson and apparently failed:

Earlier this week, Kurtz ruled that Monson would not have access to any writing utensils, including rubber pencils or pens. He is accused of smuggling pencils from the jail earlier this year and stabbing two lawyers.

Monson on Tuesday allegedly attacked Jesse Cantor with the Everett defense attorney’s own pen.

Witnesses reported seeing Monson reach across the table, grab the pen and stab Cantor in the left side of the head. Cantor was not seriously injured.

And now this lunatic is representing himself? He’s allegedly stabbing people in the head, and now he’s representing himself. Please tell me that there is a camera somewhere in that courtroom.

Okay, you know what’s really funny? The most recent lawyer had argued against restraining Monson:

Monson is charged with possession of methamphetamine. Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Christo Sedgewick had argued that Monson also should be forced to wear leather restraints around his ankles.

Cantor opposed the restraints. He argued that if a juror saw the shackles that could jeopardize Monson’s right to a fair trial.

“Mr. Monson is sitting a foot from me. Leg restraints are not going to add anything,” Cantor said Monday. The lawyer said his client had promised to behave.

Dude, it’s gotta be tough to be a defense attorney. “Your honor, putting my client in restraints would be a gross miscarriage of… oww, OWW, he’s stabbing me. OH MY GOD, he’s stabbing me in the FACE.”

In any event, to everybody in that courtroom, stay safe. Even when the defendant runs out of attorneys to stab, there are always bailiffs he can bite.

Suspect allegedly stabs his third defense attorney [HeraldNet]

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