Morrison v. Delaware

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Justia Opinion Summary

The issue in this case was whether defendant-appellant William Morrison’s waiver of his right to trial counsel was “knowing, intelligent and voluntary.” Morrison was arrested on suspicion of trespassing or burglary. At the conclusion of a hearing, Morrison stated he wished to terminate his representation by appointed counsel. The trial judge conducted an inquiry and declined the request. The trial judge informed Morrison that he could either continue to be represented by the appointed defense counsel, or proceed pro se. After reviewing the “incomplete” colloquy between the the trial judge and Morrison, the Supreme Court concluded that Defendant did not waive his right to counsel “knowingly.” Morrison’s conviction was reversed and the matter remanded for a new trial.