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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 64639 Find in a Library
Title: NEED FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SPEEDY TRIAL ACT OF 1974 (FROM SPEEDY TRIAL ACT AMENDMENTS OF 1979 - HEARINGS, 1979 - SEE NCJ-64636)
Author(s): J J CLEARY
Corporate Author: US Congress
Senate Cmtte on the Judiciary
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Congress
Washington, DC 20510
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF A FEDERAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY ASSOCIATION OPPOSES AMENDMENTS TO THE SPEEDY TRIAL ACT OF 1974 AT PUBLIC HEARINGS HELD IN MAY 1979 BEFORE THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY.
Abstract: THE ACT REPRESENTS A BALANCED APPROACH TO PROTECT THE INTERESTS BOTH OF SOCIETY AND OF ACCUSED PERSONS. THE REQUIREMENT FOR PROMPT DISPOSITION OF A CRIMINAL CASE IS SATISFIED BY DEFINITE TIME LIMITS. CASES THAT NEED ADJUSTMENT OR CATEGORIZED DELAY ARE ADDRESSED BY THE ACT'S ENUMERATION OF SPECIFIC SITUATIONS FOR WHICH ADDITIONAL TIME IS AUTHORIZED. CONGRESS SHOULD END THE PLANNING STAGE OF THE ACT AND PERMIT IMPLEMENTATION WITH VIABLE SANCTIONS, SINCE THE ACT SEEKS TO ACHIEVE EFFICIENCY IN COURTS WITHOUT SACRIFICING FAIRNESS IN THE ADMINISTRATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THE UNIQUENESS OF THE ACT IS FOUND IN THE 4-YEAR PLANNING PERIOD (1975-79) PRECEDING ITS EFFECTIVE DATE (JULY 1, 1979). OPPOSITION TO THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS CAN BE GENERATED WHEN A CLOSER LOOK IS TAKEN OF THE NEED FOR ACTUAL EXPERIENCE WITH THE ACT AND FOR IMMEDIATE REFORM OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. THE ACT HAS ALREADY OCCASIONED A SEVERE DROP IN CRIMINAL CASES AND PROVIDES FOR ENOUGH VARIATION IN TIME PERIOD LIMITATIONS. THE PROVISIONS FOR EXCLUDABLE TIME PERIODS AND WAIVER SHOULD BE TIGHTENED AND CLARIFIED, AND MORE EXPLICIT REGULATIONS ON REPORTING REASONS FOR EXTENSIONS SHOULD BE FORMULATED; HOWEVER, IN THE MEANTIME THE ACT SHOULD BE IMPLEMENTED SO THAT THE TYPES OF ABUSES OF EXTENSIONS THAT CAN OCCUR BECOME EVIDENT. THE ACT WILL SERVE TO ENHANCE PROSECUTORIAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY AND ALLOW FOR CREATIVE AND INDEPENDENT COURT MANAGEMENT, BOTH OF WHICH ARE NEEDED. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ADDITIONAL COVERAGE BY THE ACT INCLUDE INCREASING THE NUMBER OF PRETRIAL RELEASE AGENCIES TO BE ESTABLISHED, MORE COVERAGE FOR MATERIAL WITNESSES, AND MORE ATTENTION TO THE PROMPT HEARING OF PRISONER PETITIONS. GIVEN THESE NEEDS, THE ACT SHOULD STILL BE IMPLEMENTED, SO THAT THE GAPS AND MERITS CAN BE CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED BEFORE ANY AMENDMENTS ARE MADE. THE DISTRICTS THAT HAVE SPENT SO MUCH TIME IN THE PREPARATION FOR THE ACT'S IMPLEMENTATION SHOULD NOT BE PENALIZED AND THOSE DISTRICTS WHICH HAVE RESISTED AND AVOIDED THE ACT'S IMPLEMENTATION REWARDED. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Defendants; Federal courts; Law reform; Laws and Statutes; Right to speedy trial; Speedy Trial Act of 1974
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64639

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