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Red Dog v. Delaware

625 A.2d 245 (1993)

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Red Dog v. Delaware

Delaware Supreme Court

625 A.2d 245 (1993)

Facts

James Red Dog was sentenced to execution for murder, kidnapping, and rape. A week before his execution, the state public defenders’ office requested a stay without Red Dog’s authorization. The court denied the stay, and the public defenders appealed, again without Red Dog’s approval. Red Dog had repeatedly and consistently said and written he did not want either a stay or any further appeals as disputing his death sentence “would violate his warrior’s code.” The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed denial of the stay, reasoning that the public defenders lacked standing to request the stay against Red Dog’s directions absent mental incompetence, and affirmed Red Dog’s competency. The public defenders were then directed to explain why the court should not sanction them for their actions. The public defenders filed responses defending their actions as within the bounds of professional responsibility given the exigencies of representing someone facing imminent execution.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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