Colin Ferguson Case Study

1287 Words6 Pages
The case of Colin Ferguson is a rather unique and interesting one. The verdict of the trial was not atypical, for a trial with a pro se defendant, but the way in which the trial was conducted was far from the normal procedures of a court room. It all began on December 7, 1993 when an LIRR commuter train pulled into the Merillon station. As passengers sat, like most of them did every day, one man, carrying a 9mm semi automatic hand gun, decided to begin shooting. He stood up and shouted, “You’re going to get it,” and proceeded to make deliberate eye contact with each of his victims before shooting them. This event resulted in nineteen injuries and the death of six innocent individuals. Luckily, three passengers on the train apprehended…show more content…
On top of pleading not guilty, he refused the advice of the attorney presented to him to plead insanity and blame it on black rage. The attorney tried to convince Ferguson that he would be likely to win if he plead not guilty on the basis of insanity and black rage which came from the suppression of African Americans in a white society. He refused to plead insanity and repeatedly told the court that he was sane- although he refused psychiatric analysis as well. He fired his attorney, shortly after he was granted him, and refused his right to be represented in the court of law, his right as an American citizen protected under the fourteenth amendment. This is what made this court case so interesting. Colin Ferguson was asked many times and attorneys even offered to try his case but he refused and decided be a pro se defendant, a defendant who represents…show more content…
In March of this year, Ruben Castaneda wrote an article for the Washington Post about an incident that occurred in February of the same year. In February, a man by the name of Harold J. Stewart was prosecuted under the suspicion of murder in Montgomery, Georgia. He was accused of beating a man who was sleeping to death with a baseball bat. Like Colin Ferguson, Stewart decided that he would be a pro se defendant. His reason- he felt that they were not giving him the rights he deserved by denying him access to the law library and the state Attorney Grievance Commission. Unlike Colin Ferguson, Stewart was able to prove his innocence and was acquitted of the murder charges. The Washington Post stated that the only thing left of this case was the prosecution thinking twice about the quality of their case, if someone who was a high school dropout was able to beat them. No one went back and asked if he was denied any rights, possibly because Stewart came out of the court room

More about Colin Ferguson Case Study

Open Document