On August 27, 2019, in United States v. Dewberry, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held that defendants who have pleaded guilty waive their right to challenge a lower court’s decision precluding them from exercising their Sixth Amendment right to self-representation. In doing so, the Eighth Circuit joined the circuit split about whether the constitutional requirements for a valid guilty plea are met when defendants are denied these pro se rights. The Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits had previously addressed this issue, with only the Ninth Circuit holding that a defendant may challenge the lower court’s denial of his Sixth Amendment right after pleading guilty. This Comment argues that the Ninth Circuit’s approach is preferable to that of the other circuits because it expands Sixth Amendment rights.
Rachael A. Minassian, Pro Se Perils: The Eighth Circuit’s Approach to Sixth Amendment Challenges After Guilty Pleas, 62 B.C. L. Rev. E.Supp. II.-405 (2021), https://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/bclr/vol62/iss9/24