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NCJ Number: 49335 Find in a Library
Title: SPEEDY TRIAL - MAJOR SURGERY FOR A NATIONAL ILL
Journal: ALABAMA LAW REVIEW  Volume:24  Issue:2  Dated:(SPRING 1972)  Pages:265-294
Author(s): J C GODBOLD
Corporate Author: University of Alabama
School of Law
United States of America
Date Published: 1972
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: University of Alabama
University, AL 35486
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: CASE LAW AND STATUTORY PROVISIONS PERTINENT TO THE SIXTH AMENDMENT RIGHT TO A SPEEDY TRIAL ARE SET FORTH AND CRITIQUED, AND ALTERNATIVE EFFORTS BEING UNDERTAKEN TO ENSURE PROTECTION OF THE RIGHT ARE OUTLINED.
Abstract: THE U.S. SUPREME COURT HAS ADDRESSED THE SPEEDY TRIAL ISSUE IN A NUMBER OF CASES. ALTHOUGH THREE INTERESTS HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED BY THE COURT, PREJUDICE TO THE ACCUSED STEMMING FROM UNDUE DELAY HAS BEEN GIVEN PRIORITY OVER THE NEED TO PREVENT OPPRESSIVE PRETRIAL INCARCERATION AND ANXIETY AND CONCERN ACCOMPANYING PUBLIC ACCUSATION. EMPHASIS BY THE SUPREME COURT ON PREJUDICE TO THE DEFENDANT MAY BE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE COMPLEX FACTORS WHICH MAY OCCASION DELAY AND WHICH MAKE THE APPLICATION OF ABSOLUTE STANDARDS IMPRACTICABLE, THE NEUTRAL CHARACTER OF DELAY WHICH MAY AS EASILY PROVE BENEFICIAL AS PREJUDICIAL TO THE INTERESTS OF THE ACCUSED, AND THE FINAL NATURE OF THE REMEDY FOR VIOLATION OF THE RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL, DISMISSAL. IMPLEMENTATION OF SPEEDY TRIAL CLAUSE HAS FALLEN LARGELY ON THE LOWER FEDERAL AND STATE COURTS. AS MOST STATES HAVE STATUTORY PROVISIONS ELUCIDATING SPEEDY TRIAL STANDARDS, CONSTITUTIONAL CHALLENGE HAS COME PRIMARILY FROM FEDERAL CASES. IN DECIDING WHETHER A VIOLATION OF THE RIGHT TO SPEEDY TRIAL HAS OCCURRED, COURTS HAVE GENERALLY CONSIDERED THREE FACTORS IN ADDITION TO THE QUESTION OF PREJUDICE: THE LENGTH OF THE DELAY, WHETHER THE ACCUSED WAIVED THE RIGHT TO COMPLAIN OF THE DELAY, AND THE CAUSE OF THE DELAY. AS IN THE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS, GREATEST WEIGHT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO PREJUDICE. ASSUMING THE THREE OTHER FACTORS HAVE NOT FORECLOSED THE DEFENDANT'S OBJECTION TO THE DELAY, THEN THE BURDEN OF PROOF OF PREJUDICIAL DELAY MUST BE SHOULDERED BY THE DEFENDANT. FURTHER, IN CASES WHERE THE DELAY IS GOVERNMENT-CAUSED, THE LEGITIMATE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND THE SOCIETY MUST BE WEIGHED AGAINST THE INTERESTS OF THE DEFENDANT, AND THE DELAY MUST BE BOTH 'PURPOSEFUL AND PREJUDICIAL' TO BE FOUND UNCONSTITUTIONAL. A NUMBER OF INTRACTABLE PROBLEMS CAN BE IDENTIFIED FROM THE FOREGOING: THE DISMISSAL REMEDY RUNS CONTRARY TO THE STRONG GENERAL INTERESTS OF SOCIETY, PREJUDICIAL DELAY IS AT BEST DIFFICULT TO PROVE UNDER NORMAL EVIDENTIAL STANDARDS; THE DEMAND RULE IS INCONSISTENT WITH LIMITATIONS ON WAIVER OF OTHER CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS; AND THERE ARE CONFLICTS AMONG THE DEFENDANT'S AND THE GOVERNMENT'S LEGITIMATE INTERESTS WHICH CONFLICT ALSO WITH THE BROADER SOCIAL INTEREST IN EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE. THE STANDARDS PROMULGATED BY THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION AND THE SECOND CIRCUIT RULES REPRESENT NONDECISIONAL EFFORTS TO REMEDY SOME OF THESE PROBLEMS. EXTENSIVE NOTES ARE PROVIDED. (JAP)
Index Term(s): American Bar Association (ABA); Analysis; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Court delays; Federal courts; Judicial decisions; Right to speedy trial; Standards
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49335

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