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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77801 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Processing of Federal Criminal Cases Under the Speedy Trial Act of 1974 (As Amended 1979) - Levels and Patterns of Compliance Prior to the Imposition of Sanctions
Author(s): N L Ames; K E Carlson; T M Hammett; G Kennington
Corporate Author: Abt Associates, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 189
Sponsoring Agency: Abt Associates, Inc
Cambridge, MA 02138
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20530
Contract Number: JAOIA-80-C-0016
Publication Number: FJRP-80/002
Sale Source: Abt Associates, Inc
55 Wheeler Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This congressionally mandated study examines the impact on U.S. attorneys of the 1974 Speedy Trial Act; it presents findings and recommends that local implementation be strengthened.
Abstract: The study includes findings from three components: (1) a survey of 1,351 cases in 18 U.S. attorneys' offices, (2) an analysis of district approaches to compliance based on onsite interviews with approximately 90 respondents in 6 U.S. districts, and (3) an analysis of the impact of speedy trial constraints on civil backlog, using historical data supplied by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC). The study found that when a uniform standard of excludable time was applied to a sample of cases, the estimated level of compliance was 94 percent for Interval I (the requirement that arrested defendants must be indicted within 30 days of the arrest), 92 percent for Interval II (the requirement that trials of all defendants must commence within 70 days of indictment), and 91 percent for the combined compliance in both Intervals I and II. Further, the districts studied used at least one or more of the following procedures to achieve compliance with the act's time limits: monitoring and reporting, coordination with investigative agencies, planning and coordination, resource allocation, case events scheduling, and training and dissemination. The empirical analysis of AOUSC data indicated that the increase in civil backlog was largely a function of the increase in civil filings; it did not appear to be associated with accelerated criminal case processing. The study also found that many prosecutors failed to rely on the excludable time provisions to achieve compliance with the arrest-to-indictment interval and that a number of prosecutorial policies and practices mitigated the act's pressures. Several districts continued to use waivers of speedy trial limits as a proper exercise of the defendants' constitutional rights. Recommendations are given for strengthening local implementation effects, for Department of Justice initiatives, and for changes in the statute and implementing guidelines. Footnotes, 4 figures, and 30 tables are given. Five appendixes contain study-related materials and the text of the Speedy Trial Act of 1974, Title I, as amended.
Index Term(s): Caseload management; Court case flow; Court delays; District attorneys; Right to speedy trial; Speedy Trial Act of 1974; Standards
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