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NCJ Number: 77307 Find in a Library
Title: Speedy Trial and the Legal Process
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:4  Issue:3  Dated:(1980)  Pages:135-145
Author(s): V L Swigert; R A Farrell
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes an empirical study focusing on the role of the right to a speedy trial in State proceedings for defendants in criminal homicide cases.
Abstract: The research used demographic and legal information concerning 444 defendants in criminal homicide cases. These cases constitute a 50-percent random sample of all murders resulting in arrest between 1955 and 1973 in a large urban jurisdiction in the northeastern United States. Psychiatric clinic files and indictment files served as primary data sources. Employing multiple regression techniques, an assessment was made of the relationship between the length of time involved in the defendants' legal processing, their sociological status, and the final dispositions awarded by the court. Findings showed that blacks and jailed defendants were processed more swiftly than their white and bailed counterparts. The constitutional guarantee of a speedy trial also appeared to be a State resource, in that cases adjudicated promptly resulted in higher conviction rates than those which were delayed. This was especially true for defendants who were not released on bail, and may be attributed to the prosecutorial success that accompanies the availability of witnesses whose memories are unclouded by time and the existence of a social climate that calls for retribution. Three tables, 4 footnotes, and 22 references are included. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Court delays; Criminal proceedings; Data analysis; Defendants; Homicide; Right to speedy trial; Studies
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