Parren v. State, No. 91

CourtCourt of Appeals of Maryland
Writing for the CourtArgued before MURPHY, C.J., ELDRIDGE, COLE, RODOWSKY, COUCH and McAULIFFE, JJ., and CHARLES E. ORTH, Jr.; RODOWSKY; MURPHY
Citation309 Md. 260,523 A.2d 597
PartiesMarvin PARREN and David Bright v. STATE of Maryland. ,
Decision Date01 September 1986
Docket NumberNo. 91

Page 260

309 Md. 260
523 A.2d 597
Marvin PARREN and David Bright
v.
STATE of Maryland.
No. 91, Sept. Term, 1986.
Court of Appeals of Maryland.
April 6, 1987.

[523 A.2d 598]

Page 262

Arthur A. DeLano, Jr., Asst. Public Defender (Alan H. Murrell, Public Defender, on the brief), Baltimore, for appellant.

Valerie J. Smith, Asst. Atty. Gen. (Stephen H. Sachs, Atty. Gen., on the brief), Baltimore, for appellee.

Argued before MURPHY, C.J., ELDRIDGE, COLE, RODOWSKY, COUCH and McAULIFFE, JJ., and CHARLES E. ORTH, Jr., Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals (retired) Specially Assigned.

CHARLES E. ORTH, Jr., Specially Assigned.

I

(A)

"The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 21 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights guarantee a right to counsel, including appointed counsel for an indigent, in a criminal case involving incarceration." Rutherford v. Rutherford, 296 Md. 347, 357, 464 A.2d 228 (1983). 1 The constitutional guarantees encompass not only

Page 263

the right of a defendant to the effective assistance of a duly licensed attorney at law but also the right of a defendant to appear in propria persona. Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806, 807, 95 S.Ct. 2525, 2527, 45 L.Ed.2d 562 (1975); Leonard v. State, 302 Md. 111, 119, 486 A.2d 163 (1985). 2 The right of self-representation is independent of the right to the assistance of counsel. Faretta, 422 U.S. at 819 n. 15, 95 S.Ct. at 2533 n. 15. The rights "are mutually exclusive and the defendant cannot assert both simultaneously." Leonard, 302 Md. at 119, 486 A.2d at 166. The right to counsel has been zealously protected by the Supreme Court as a fundamental constitutional right. It is basic to our adversary system of criminal justice. Faretta 422 U.S. at 818, 95 S.Ct. at 2532. Although it may be knowingly and voluntarily waived, the courts indulge every reasonable presumption against its waiver; acquiescence in the loss of such a right is never presumed. Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S. 458, 464, 58 S.Ct. 1019, 1023, 82 L.Ed. 1461 (1938). Nevertheless, the right to self-representation has been long respected and is supported by centuries of consistent history. Faretta 422 U.S. at 812-832, 95 S.Ct. at 2529-39. "The right to appear pro se exists to affirm the dignity and autonomy of the accused and to allow the presentation of what may, at least occasionally, be the accused's best possible defense." Leonard v. State, 302 Md. at 121, 486 A.2d at 168, quoting McKaskle v. Wiggins, 465 U.S. 168, 176-177, 104 S.Ct. 944, 949-50, 79 L.Ed.2d 122 (1984).

Page 264

(B)

The term "hybrid representation" has appeared in several opinions of the Court of Special Appeals and was said in Callahan v. State, 30 Md.App. 628, 633, 354 A.2d 191, cert. denied, 278 Md. 718 (1976), to describe[523 A.2d 599] participation in a criminal trial by a defendant as his "own co-counsel." See Wilson v. State, 44 Md.App. 318, 328, 408 A.2d 1058 (1979), cert. denied, 287 Md. 758 (1980); Beard v. State, 42 Md.App. 276, 288, 399 A.2d 1383, cert. denied, 285 Md. 727 (1979). As we shall see, the concept of hybrid representation played an important role in the decision of the intermediate appellate court in the case sub judice, Bright v. State, 68 Md.App. 41, 509 A.2d 1227 (1986). Hybrid representation is apparently considered to encompass both the participation of the defendant in the conduct of his trial when he had not effectively waived the assistance of an attorney to defend him, and the participation by an attorney in the conduct of the trial when the defendant was defending pro se.

The term "hybrid representation" and the designation of a defendant as "co-counsel" are misleading. There is no right vested in a defendant who has effectively waived the assistance of counsel to have his responsibilities for the conduct of the trial shared by an attorney. "The Sixth Amendment does not give any indication that hybrid representation is a right of constitutional dimensions," and no such right is bestowed by statute. United States v. Hill, 526 F.2d 1019, 1025 (10th Cir.1975), cert. denied, 425 U.S. 940, 96 S.Ct. 1676, 48 L.Ed.2d 182 (1976). Nor is there a right bestowed upon a defendant who has not effectively waived his entitlement to the assistance of counsel to share the responsibilities for the management of the trial with his attorney. As we have noted, the right to counsel and the right to defend pro se cannot be asserted simultaneously. The two rights are disjunctive. There can be but one captain of the ship, and it is he alone who must assume responsibility for its passage, whether it safely reaches the destination charted or founders on a reef. This does not

Page 265

mean that a defendant who has ineffectively waived the assistance of counsel cannot in any way participate in the conduct of the trial. Nor does it follow that a defendant appearing pro se may not have a lawyer participate to any extent in the trial. Such participation may be permitted in the discretion of the presiding judge under his general power to control the conduct of the trial. Wilson v. State, 44 Md.App. at 330-331, 408 A.2d at 1064-65. But in either case the participation never reaches the level of "representation" nor does the participant attain the status of "co-counsel." When a defendant appears pro se, it is he who calls the shots, albeit, perhaps, with the aid, advice and allocution of counsel in the discretion of the trial judge. When a defendant is represented by counsel, it is counsel who is in charge of the defense and his say as to strategy and tactics is generally controlling, but again with such participation by the defendant as the trial judge deems appropriate.

This Court has noticed the term "hybrid representation." In Colvin v. State, 299 Md. 88, 101, 472 A.2d 953, cert. denied, 469 U.S. 873, 105 S.Ct. 226, 83 L.Ed.2d 155 (1984), we said that the defendant was not seeking self-representation but was "at best seeking 'hybrid' representation." In Leonard v. State, 302 Md. at 126, 486 A.2d at 170, we observed that the facts dispelled "any contention that [the defendant] was seeking hybrid representation." In the context in which the term "hybrid representation" appeared in Colvin and Leonard, there is no indication, and we hereby expressly refute, that we recognized "hybrid representation" as a third classification of the right to counsel. As we have explained above, there are only two types of representation constitutionally guaranteed--representation by counsel and representation pro se--and they are mutually exclusive. In short, "[a] criminal defendant does not have an absolute right to both self-representation and the assistance of counsel." United States v. Halbert, 640 F.2d 1000, 1009 (9th Cir.1981) (emphasis in original).

Page 266

(C)

When an accused is constitutionally entitled to the assistance of counsel, the right attaches to him without any affirmative action on his part. On the other hand, when an accused desires to represent himself[523 A.2d 600] he must assert that right, and its grant is conditioned upon a valid waiver of the right to assistance of counsel. Leonard v. State, 302 Md. at 119, 486 A.2d at 166. 3 The standard of proof applicable to a waiver of the right to counsel was enunciated by the Supreme Court in Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S. at 464, 58 S.Ct. at 1023. It was explicated in Von Moltke v. Gillies, 332 U.S. 708, 723-724, 68 S.Ct. 316, 323, 92 L.Ed. 309 (1948) and summarized in Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. at 835, 95 S.Ct. at 2541. This Court has adopted a rule to implement the constitutional guarantees. Present Md. Rule 4-215. All of this is discussed infra.

II

David Bright and Marvin Parren were convicted by a jury at a joint trial in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City of certain felonies and misdemeanors charged in a number of indictments returned against them. The indictments resulted from the defendants' involvement in a brouhaha in the Maryland Penitentiary where they were serving time for the commission of other offenses. They appealed from the judgments entered, and the Court of Special Appeals affirmed. Bright v. State, 68 Md.App. at 41, 509 A.2d at 1227. We granted their petition and the State's cross-petition for certiorari.

(A)

When Bright and Parren first appeared in court in this case they had been provided counsel by the Public Defender. The docket entries and a transcript of the proceedings at their arraignment reflect no more than the entry of the

Page 267

appearance of counsel, pleas of not guilty and the setting of a date for trial.

When the case came on for trial there ensued a prolonged discussion, carried over until the morning of the next day, concerning the representation of the defendants. The court, the defendants, counsel and the prosecutor all took an active part. Although at times inevitably confusing, the transcript of the proceedings, when alembicated, clearly establishes that the matter of representation was resolved in this way:

1) Each defendant discharged his counsel of record.

2) Each defendant tendered a waiver of his right to counsel which was accepted by the court.

3) Each defendant asserted and was granted his right to defend pro se.

4) Counsel could participate in the trial only in a standby advisory capacity to the extent permitted by the court.

The resolution of the matter of representation, finally accepted with various degrees of enthusiasm by all concerned, was reached by the judge over the strenuous opposition of the prosecutor. It was arrived at in light of the comments and assertions of the defendants as explicated by their counsel, and after strong and persistent caveats by the court supported by plainly worded cautions and warnings as to the dangers and pitfalls of self-representation. The question of whether each defendant truly desired to proceed without an attorney was placed squarely on the record by the judge. The transcript shows that after protracted discussion the judge...

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165 practice notes
  • Boulden v. State, No. 49, September Term, 2009 (Md. App. 5/14/2010), No. 49, September Term, 2009.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • May 14, 2010
    ...only from a penetrating and comprehensive examination of all the circumstances under which such a plea is tendered." (emphasis added). 309 Md. 260, 272-73, 523 A.2d 597, 603 (1987) (quoting Von Moltke v. Gillies, 332 U.S. 708, 723-24, 68 S. Ct. 316, 323, 92 L. Ed. 309, 320-21) (plurality op......
  • State v. Brown, No. 65
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1995
    ...counsel, and the Page 413 defendant's right to self-representation. See Moten v. State, 339 Md. 407, 663 A.2d 593 (1995); Parren v. State, 309 Md. 260, 523 A.2d 597 (1987); Snead v. State, 286 Md. 122, 406 A.2d 98 (1979). See also McKaskle v. Wiggins, 465 U.S. 168, 104 S.Ct. 944, 79 L.Ed.2d......
  • Westray v. State, No. 1836
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 25, 2014
    ...in a criminal case involving incarceration.’ ” Broadwater v. State, 401 Md. 175, 179, 931 A.2d 1098 (2007) (quoting Parren v. State, 309 Md. 260, 262, 523 A.2d 597 (1987)); see also Brye v. State, 410 Md. 623, 634, 980 A.2d 435 (2009). The constitutional rights [94 A.3d 143]guaranteed “enco......
  • Sinclair v. State, No. 1724
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 25, 2013
    ...A.2d 1082 (2001). Maryland Rules, therefore, “are to be read and followed.” Pinkney, 427 Md. at 87, 46 A.3d 413 (quoting Parren v. State, 309 Md. 260, 280, 523 A.2d 597 (1987)) (emphasis added). Additionally, the “interpretation of the Maryland Rules is a question of law; as such, [an appel......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
165 cases
  • Boulden v. State, No. 49, September Term, 2009 (Md. App. 5/14/2010), No. 49, September Term, 2009.
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • May 14, 2010
    ...only from a penetrating and comprehensive examination of all the circumstances under which such a plea is tendered." (emphasis added). 309 Md. 260, 272-73, 523 A.2d 597, 603 (1987) (quoting Von Moltke v. Gillies, 332 U.S. 708, 723-24, 68 S. Ct. 316, 323, 92 L. Ed. 309, 320-21) (plurality op......
  • State v. Brown, No. 65
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Maryland
    • September 1, 1995
    ...counsel, and the Page 413 defendant's right to self-representation. See Moten v. State, 339 Md. 407, 663 A.2d 593 (1995); Parren v. State, 309 Md. 260, 523 A.2d 597 (1987); Snead v. State, 286 Md. 122, 406 A.2d 98 (1979). See also McKaskle v. Wiggins, 465 U.S. 168, 104 S.Ct. 944, 79 L.Ed.2d......
  • Westray v. State, No. 1836
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • June 25, 2014
    ...in a criminal case involving incarceration.’ ” Broadwater v. State, 401 Md. 175, 179, 931 A.2d 1098 (2007) (quoting Parren v. State, 309 Md. 260, 262, 523 A.2d 597 (1987)); see also Brye v. State, 410 Md. 623, 634, 980 A.2d 435 (2009). The constitutional rights [94 A.3d 143]guaranteed “enco......
  • Sinclair v. State, No. 1724
    • United States
    • Court of Special Appeals of Maryland
    • September 25, 2013
    ...A.2d 1082 (2001). Maryland Rules, therefore, “are to be read and followed.” Pinkney, 427 Md. at 87, 46 A.3d 413 (quoting Parren v. State, 309 Md. 260, 280, 523 A.2d 597 (1987)) (emphasis added). Additionally, the “interpretation of the Maryland Rules is a question of law; as such, [an appel......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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