YouTube ScreenshotIt is frequently said that”He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” This adage was most evident this week at Florida as Ronnie Oneal III represented himself to some rapid double murder conviction. Judge Michelle Sisco reportedly told Oneal”I need to inform you, I believe in another life, you’d happen to be an outstanding attorney.” But, it had been difficult to discern that natural gift after Oneal shouted at jurors in his opening statement and went on to acknowledge open court . In fairness to Sisco, she had been attempting again to convince Oneal to accept counsel, especially because he moves to the sentencing phrase where he could be sentenced to death.
Oneal lashed out at the authorities in front of the prosecution for the things he said “some of their most vicious, lying, fabricating, fictitious authorities you ever seen.” He assured that the prosecution”I seem alone. However, I’m backed by a powerful God.”
The evidence against Oneal was overwhelming and chilling. Then he allegedly used a hatchet to kill his 9-year-old daughter and wounded his son, then 8, using a knife. His daughter had cerebral palsy and could not speak. Then he set the house on fire.
His son saw that the murders committed. When he had been pulled from the house, he informed authorities”My daddy killed my mum.”
The most gut-wrenching moment in the trial came after Oneal cross examined his son, who a police officer has reportedly adopted. Oneal asked”Can I hurt you the night of the incident?” He son said”Yes.” Oneal subsequently asked”How did I hurt you?” The boy just replied,”You chased me.”
There was likewise a 911 call from Barron in which she sought aid as Oneal yelled in the background.
1 key element to your criminal defense isn’t to announce your customer’s guilt in open court. However, Oneal did precisely that if he informed the jury”I want you to understand the real facts. I did kill Kenyatta Brown. However, I want you to tell it as it is, if you’re going to tell it.”
After that he was quickly convicted, Judge Sisco tried valiantly to convince Oneal to accept a Attorney, including an appeal to his own vanity:
“As you’re aware, it gets no more serious for practically any defendant in any criminal court in this country than what it is that you’re facing now. I’m going to strongly encourage you to look at allowing counsel to now step in and reflect you. I need to inform you, I believe in another life, you’d happen to be an outstanding attorney. … But, as we move into penalty phase, I really am going to strongly encourage you to allow counsel to now step in and reflect you.”
Oneal may nevertheless choose to do so but his decision to represent himself might shorten any appeals according to his own trial mistakes. The Constitution rarely protects against untoward impacts and admitting that you just had an incompetent attorney is harder when you are that attorney.