Joseph Naso Wants to Represent Himselfon April 28, 2011 in Serial Killers by Brian Combs
Joseph Naso asked Superior Court Judge Andrew Sweet yesterday if he could represent himself. Naso is accused of killing four Northern California women over 17 years.
Naso, who has represented himself in lawsuits and in a court fight over guardianship of one of his sons, said:
I have a lot of experience representing myself during proceedings. And I’ve done well – I’ve prevailed.
Judges are generally reluctant to allow defendants to represent themselves. The lack of procedural knowledge slows down the case, and can potentially open avenues for appeal. Plus, in murder cases, it creates the potential that a killer might get to cross examine the relatives and friends of one of his victims.
Chief Deputy Public Defender David Brown has declared that Naso is ineligible for public assistance. He reportedly has assets of nearly one million dollars.
Naso claims he is interviewing attorneys, but is worried that he won’t be able to review all evidence against him if he does not serve as his own attorney.
Judge Sweet gave Naso a seven-page exam that will test Naso’s knowledge on legal terms and courtroom rules.