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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 51868 Find in a Library
Title: SPEEDY TRIAL ACT OF 1974 - A CRITICAL COMMENTARY
Journal: BROOKLYN LAW REVIEW - THE SECOND CIRCUIT REVIEW, 1976-77 TERM  Volume:44  Issue:4  Dated:(SUMMER 1978)  Pages:757-774
Author(s): T C PLATT
Corporate Author: Brooklyn Law School
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: Brooklyn Law School
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PROBLEMS RELATING TO THE SPEEDY TRIAL ACT OF 1974, ESTABLISHING TIME LIMITS TO ASSURE SPEEDY TRIALS AND SANCTIONS FOR TIME-LIMIT VIOLATIONS, ARE EXAMINED ALONG WITH MANDATES OF THE INTERIM ACT.
Abstract: THE ACT MANDATES THAT AN INFORMATION OR INDICTMENT BE FILED WITHIN 30 DAYS OF ARREST, THAT THE DEFENDANT BE ARRAIGNED WITHIN 10 DAYS AFTER THE FILING, AND THAT THE TRIAL BE COMMENCED WITHIN 60 DAYS FROM THE ARRAIGNMENT DATE. A NUMBER OF SPECIFIED DELAYS ARE EXCEPTED FROM THE TIME LIMITS, BUT AN INFORMATION OR INDICTMENT CAN BE DISMISSED ON THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION IF THE TIME LIMITS ARE VIOLATED. THE ACT, SCHEDULED TO TAKE EFFECT IN JULY OF 1979, IS PRECEDED BY AN INTERIM ACT MANDATING THAT DETAINED PERSONS AWAITING TRIAL AND RELEASED PERSONS DESIGNATED AS 'HIGH RISKS' BE TRIED WITHIN 90 DAYS FROM THE DETENTION OR DESIGNATION DATE, THAT FAILURE TO COMMENCE A TRIAL IN TIME RESULT IN AUTOMATIC COURT REVIEW OF RELEASE CONDITIONS, AND THAT NO DETAINEE BE HELD IN CUSTODY PENDING TRIAL LONGER THAN 90 DAYS. BOTH ACTS PRESENT LEGAL AND PRACTICAL PROBLEMS; THE FOREMOST PROBLEM REGARDS THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF CONGRESSIONAL INTRUSION INTO JUDICIAL AND EXECUTIVE TERRITORY AND CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATION GRANTING THE DEFENDANTS SPEEDY TRIAL RIGHTS NOT ACCORDED THEM BY THE CONSTITUTION. THE SUPREME COURT BAKER V. WINGO (1972) ESTABLISHED FOUR FACTORS TO BE CONSIDERED IN REGARD TO SPEEDY TRIALS: (1) THE LENGTH OF DELAY, (2) REASONS FOR DELAY, (3) THE DEFENDANT'S ASSERTION OF SPEEDY TRIAL RIGHTS, AND (4) PREJUDICE RESULTING FROM DELAY. THE SECOND QUESTION ARISING FROM APPLICATION OF THE ACTS IS WHETHER DEFENDANTS' RIGHTS TO DUE PROCESS OF LAW ARE VIOLATED IF DEFENDANTS, UNABLE TO WAIVE SPEEDY TRIAL RIGHTS, REQUEST ADJOURNMENT OF TRIALS BEYOND THE PRESCRIBED TIME WHEN THEY CANNOT ARTICULATE SUFFICIENT FACTS TO ENABLE JUDICIAL ACCEPTANCE OF THE REQUESTS OR IF THEY APPLY FOR A SHORT CONTINUANCE IN ORDER TO HAVE THE ASSISTANCE OF RETAINED TRIAL COUNSELS. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE SPEEDY TRIAL ACT CONTAINS INHERENT FLAWS AND THAT IT MIGHT BE SAVED BY JUDICIAL ACCEPTANCE OF DEFENDANTS' SPEEDY TRIAL RIGHTS OR BY CONGRESSIONAL AMENDMENTS SPECIFICALLY PROVIDING FOR SUCH WAIVERS. (DAG)
Index Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; Court delays; Laws and Statutes; Right to Due Process; Right to speedy trial; Rights of the accused; Trial procedures; Trials
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51868

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