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Determination of Dismissal Sanctions Under the Speedy Trial Act of 1974 (From Criminal Law Review - 1989, P 437-461, 1989, James G. Carr, ed. -- See NCJ-121027)

NCJ Number
M L Wood
Date Published
25 pages
Federal courts should adopt a two-part method for analyzing Speedy Trial Act (STA) dismissals so that dismissals with prejudice would be more likely to result when prosecutorial or judicial culpability is the reason for the delay.
A Speedy Trial Act (STA) violation results in mandatory dismissal of the case or complaint. A court must consider three factors in the statute when deciding whether to dismiss the case with or without prejudice: the severity of the crime; the facts and circumstances of the STA violation; and the impact of reprosecution on the STA and on justice in general. The article examines the legislative history of the statute and discusses the interpretation and application of the dismissal considerations, emphasizing the controversy over whether negligence by prosecutors and judges in causing a delay should result in a dismissal of the charges or indictment with prejudice. Pointing out that Congress intended for the STA to punish certain delaying tactics by judges or prosecutors but not unreasonably so, the article concludes that a test allowing the party responsible for the delay to demonstrate an affirmative justification for the delay would be consistent with Congressional intent and statutory goals. 191 footnotes.