Must Court Provide a Warning to the Defendant Regarding Seriousness of the Trial ?
Should Court Provide Enough Warning to Defendant Regarding Seriousness of the Trial and Impact of Its Results on His Life and Liberty ?
In State v. Gibson (1976), 45 Ohio St.2d 366, 345 N.E.2d 399, the Ohio Supreme Court held a trial court must provide sufficient warning to the defendant of the seriousness of the trial and the possible results it could have for his liberty and life.
The Court stated:
This protecting duty imposes the serious and weighty responsibility upon the trial judge of determining whether there is an intelligent and competent waiver by the accused.'
To discharge this duty properly in light of the strong presumption against waiver of the constitutional right to counsel, a judge must investigate as long and as thoroughly as the circumstances of the case before him demand.
The fact that an accused may tell him that he is informed of his right to counsel and desires to waive this right does not automatically end the judge's responsibility.
To be valid such waiver must be made with an apprehension of the nature of the charges, the statutory offenses included within them, the range of allowable punishments thereunder, possible defenses to the charges and circumstances in mitigation thereof, and all other facts essential to a broad understanding of the whole matter. " Gibson, supra, at 376-377, citing Von Moltke v. Gillies (1948), 332 U.S. 708, 723, 68 S.Ct. 316, 323, 92 L. Ed. 309.