The ethical rules are clear: "the client, after consultation with the lawyer, holds the ultimate decision making authority over lawful objectives of the representation."
What if you think your client is not competent to make such a decision? Again, you would follow the rules:
Appellate counsel should consider the client’s competence to make critical appellate decisions whenever counsel has a good faith doubt as to the client's competence to proceed. Counsel may move for an evaluation over the client's objection, and if necessary, counsel may make known to the court those facts that raise the good faith doubt of competence to proceed on appeal.Why then, did the Beltway Sniper, John Allen Mohammed, have to write to the Virginia Attorney General's Office to inform them that despite his pleas to them, his appellate counsel have not followed his direction to withdraw his appeal? Any appeals filed, he asserts, have been done "against my will." Yet appeals have been filed, and his attorneys have not sought an appellate-level competency evaluation, which could supply the only possible grounds for them to ignore their client's wishes.
It couldn't be that his lawyers care more about their capital punishment activism than they do about their client's wishes, could it?