46.0502 Rights of defendants.

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Every defendant in a criminal case before a Court of American Samoa is entitled to:

(1) have in advance of trial a copy of the charge upon which he is to be tried;

(2) consult counsel before trial and to have a representative of his own choosing assist him in his defense at the trial;

(3) apply to the Court for further time to prepare his defense, which the Court shall grant if it is satisfied that the defendant will otherwise be substantially prejudiced in his defense;

(4) bring with him to the trial such material witnesses as he may desire or to have them summoned by the Court at his request;

(5) give evidence on his own behalf at his own request at the trial, although he may not be compelled to do so. If he fails to so testify, such failure shall not be construed as evidence against him; but if he does so testify, he may be cross-examined like other witnesses.

(6) be exempt from testifying against himself;

(7) appeal;

(8) a speedy, public and oral trial.

History: 1962, PL 7-36; 1972, PL 12-40 § 1.

Case Notes:

As officers of the court, members of the bar may be appointed, without compensation if necessary, as counsel to insure that indigent criminal defendants receive legal representation. Rev. Const. Am. Samoa Art. I, § 6; A.S.C.A. §§ 46.0502(2), 46.1001. American Samoa Government v. Wilson, 23 A.S.R.2d 159 (1993).

Right to effective assistance of counsel applies in American Samoa. Am. Samoa Rev. Const. Art I, § 6; A.S.C.A. §§ 46.0502, 46.1001. Suisala v. Moaali’itele, 6 A.S.R.2d 15 (1987).