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Name: Marshall v. Taylor
Case #: 03-56836
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/13/2005

Marshall asked to represent himself on the morning of his state court trial. The trial court denied his request on the impermissible ground that he lacked the requisite skill and knowledge to represent himself. The appellate court affirmed on the proper ground that his request was untimely. In his habeas corpus petition, Marshall contended that the appellate court’s decision was contrary to Faretta and that the finding of untimeliness was unreasonable. The Ninth Circuit disagreed and affirmed the district court’s denial of the habeas petition. Marshall made his request to represent himself on the day of trial after the trial had been continued several times, and presented no facts to show the request was reasonable. Absent clear Supreme Court precedent defining when a Faretta request becomes untimely, the appellate court was free to determine that a request on the day of trial was untimely, and its decision was based on a reasonable determination of the facts.