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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 49283 Find in a Library
Title: RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL - THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT AND ITS APPLICABILITY TO THE SPEEDY TRIAL ACT OF 1974
Journal: JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW AND CRIMINOLOGY  Volume:66  Issue:3  Dated:(1975)  Pages:229-239
Author(s): M I STEINBERG
Corporate Author: Williams and Wilkins Co
United States of America
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Williams and Wilkins Co
Baltimore, MD 21202
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PROVISIONS OF THE SPEEDY TRIAL ACT OF 1974 ARE OUTLINED, AND PROBLEMS STEMMING FROM THE SPECIFIED TIME LIMITATIONS OF THE ACT ARE IDENTIFIED AND A SOLUTION IS PROPOSED.
Abstract: THE SPEEDY TRIAL ACT OF 1974 REPRESENTS ACTION ON THE PART OF CONGRESS TO ENSURE THE PROTECTION OF INTERESTS OF BOTH THE DEFENDANT AND SOCIETY. THE SPEEDY TRIAL GUARANTEE IS DESIGNED TO ENHANCE THE INTEGRITY OF THE FACT-FINDING PROCESS, MINIMIZE THE ANXIETY INFLICTED ON THE DEFENDANT BY LONG-PENDING CHARGES OR PROLONGED PRETRIAL INCARCERATION, GUARD AGAINST OPPRESSIVE CONDUCT BY PUBLIC OFFICIALS WHO MAY INTENTIONALLY WITHHOLD CRIMINAL TRIAL, AND ENHANCE THE DETERRENT GOALS OF CRIMINAL LAW. PRIOR TO THE 1972 SUPREME COURT DECISION IN BARKER VERSUS WINGO, THE COURT HAD NOT DEALT WITH THE SPEEDY TRIAL ISSUE AT ANY LENGTH. IN BARKER THE COURT HELD THAT LENGTH OF DELAY, REASON FOR DELAY, DEFENDANT'S ASSERTION OF HIS RIGHT, AND PREJUDICE TO THE DEFENDANT RESULTING FROM THE DELAY WERE ALL RELEVANT TO DETERMINING WHETHER THE RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL HAD BEEN VIOLATED. WHILE REJECTING THE NOTION THAT A DEFENDANT HAS WAIVED HIS RIGHT PRIOR TO A DEMAND OF THE RIGHT, THE COURT EMPHASIZED THAT FAILURE TO ASSERT THE RIGHT WOULD MAKE IT DIFFICULT TO DETERMINE WHETHER THE RIGHT HAD BEEN DENIED. THE COURT NOTED THAT THE RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL WAS DIFFICULT TO DEFINE AND DECLINED TO SPECIFY A TIME WHICH WOULD BE CONSIDERED PERMISSIBLE DELAY. THE SPEEDY TRIAL ACT PROVIDES A DEFINITIVE TIME PERIOD DURING WHICH A DEFENDANT MUST BE BROUGHT TO TRIAL; ANY INFORMATION OR INDICTMENT MUST BE FILED WITHIN 30 DAYS OF ARREST OR SUMMONS; THE ARRAIGNMENT MUST BE HELD WITHIN 10 DAYS OF INFORMATION OR INDICTMENT; AND UPON A PLEA OF NOT GUILTY, A TRIAL MUST BE HELD WITHIN 60 DAYS AFTER ARRAIGNMENT. GRADUAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ACT IN THE FEDERAL COURTS IS SPECIFIED, AND A NUMBER OF CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH DELAYS ARE JUSTIFIABLE AND HENCE EXCLUDED FROM THE CALCULATION IN THE TIME LIMITATIONS ARE SPECIFIED. REMEDY FOR VIOLATION IS DISMISSAL OF THE CASE, ALTHOUGH FURTHER PROSECUTION IS NOT NECESSARILY BARRED BY DISMISSAL. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT, AS WRITTEN, THE ACT FAILS TO PROTECT THE DEFENDANT FROM PREJUDICIAL DELAY OCCURRING BEFORE FORMAL CHARGES ARE FILED. A POSSIBLE REMEDY OF THIS PROBLEM IS TO PERMIT THE DEFENDANT TO PROVE BY A PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE THAT THE STATE HAD SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE TO PROSECUTE PRIOR TO THE DATE ON WHICH CHARGES WERE FORMALLY BROUGHT. SUCH PROOF, IF NOT REBUTTED BY THE STATE ON THE GROUNDS THAT DELAY WAS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY OR REASONABLY NECESSARY AND NONPREJUDICIAL TO THE ACCUSED, WOULD RESULT IN THE TIME PERIOD ATTACHING TO THE TIME AT WHICH THE PROSECUTION HAD SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE RATHER THAN TO TIME OF ARREST OR SUMMONS. NOTES ARE PROVIDED. (JAP)
Index Term(s): Analysis; Court delays; Federal courts; Judicial decisions; Law reform; Laws and Statutes; Reform; Right to speedy trial; Rights of the accused; US Supreme Court
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49283

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