Grant Hayes, 33, should have a great deal more on his mind as he faces a trial for the murder and dismembering of his ex-girlfriend in North Carolina. However, Hayes has fired his second court-appointed lawyer and demanded a “black attorney from Durham.” Hayes, 33, and his wife, Amanda Perry Hayes, 40, face first-degree murder charges.
What is striking is that he insists not only that he needs a black attorney but that one from Raleigh or Ashville won’t do.
Judge Donald Stephens granted the motion after the attorney for Hayes, 33, reported an ethical conflict with Hayes. Stephens said however that this would be the third and last strike for a lawyer.
Hayes and his wife are accused of murdering Laura Ackerson, 27, in North Carolina, dismembering her body and dumping her remains in a Richmond, Texas, swamp on July 24, 2011.
It is not clear if the Court has considered the race request but it would be entirely (in my view) inappropriate to yield to such racism. Of course, it could create a difficult situation if he is given a third non-Black lawyer and refuses to work with him. That would leave the court with the choice of having him defend himself (and create a circus environment) or have the lawyer represent him against his wishes.
Some judges have faced such demands on religious grounds with Muslim defendants demanding Muslim lawyers. Should they try to accommodate such requests to facilitate the trial in your view?
Source: NY Daily News