Do I need a lawyer or should I represent myself in a criminal case in Michigan

The underwear bomber recently asked this question of himself and decided he did not want an attorney to help him defend against his federal charges by the United States government. How wise is his decision? That’s easy…it’s stupid. 

In granting Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s request to represent himself, the judge ruled that he can pick the jury, raise objections and cross-examine witnesses. The matter had to go before the judge because it is so completely illogical and irrational to engage in self-representation that many court will require a hearing first to determine if the defendant is mentally stable enough to make such a decision.

The only fortunate thing for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the so-called underwear-bombing suspect, is that the judge would not agree just to let him sabotage himself completely. The judge appointed a professional standby lawyer to step in and help if there are problems. The vast majority of courts would not have gone to this extraordinary measure.

The Nigerian national and self-proclaimed al-Qaida member, who is charged with trying to blow up a Detroit-bound airliner on Christmas Day 2009 using a bomb tucked in his briefs, has stated that he wants to give the opening statement and closing arguments at trial — and maybe handle jury selection.

He was charged with numerous criminal counts, including conspiracy to commit terrorism…soon he will be convicted of those charges.


Mr. Loren M. Dickstein

Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer


2000 Town Center, Ste. 2350

Southfield, MI   48075

(248) 263-6800