15 May 2018 :
The United States Supreme Court has granted 6-3 a new trial to Robert McCoy (44, Black), whose lawyer admitted his guilt despite McCoy’s “adament” and “vociferous” insistence that he was innocent. Facing what counsel believed was overwhelming evidence of guilt and hoping to persuade the jury to spare McCoy’s life, defense lawyer Larry English told jurors his client had “committed three murders. . . . He’s guilty.” In a opinion for the Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote: “With individual liberty—and, in capital cases, life—at stake, it is the defendant’s prerogative, not counsel’s, to decide on the objective of his defense: to admit guilt in the hope of gaining mercy at the sentencing stage, or to maintain his innocence, leaving it to the State to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.” Justices Alito, Thomas, and Gorsuch dissented. McCoy was charged with murdering the son, mother, and stepfather of his estranged wife. The case is McCoy v. Louisiana.