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Overview of the Right to Speedy Trial in Criminal Cases in the United States (From Annual Report for 1998 and Resource Material Series No. 55, P 350-356, 2000, -- See NCJ-190757)

NCJ Number
Rya W. Zobel
Date Published
March 2000
7 pages
This paper provided an overview of the constitutional mandate of the right to a speedy trial in criminal cases in the United States.
This paper presented in 1999 at the UNAFEI, 111th International Seminar on "The Role of the Police, Prosecution, and the Judiciary in the Changing Society" provided an overview of the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guaranteeing all criminal defendants the right to a speedy and public trial. It is a right granted to the defendant. In addition, the paper continues with a summary of the statute and legislative history followed by a summary of the provisions of the statute. The implementation of the Speedy Trial Act requirements, in the end was uneventful, but one of the most interesting facts about this piece of legislation was how quickly and totally it was accepted by those most affected by it, and how well it has worked. One of the areas of concern and contention had been the matter of sanctions. However, dismissals, particularly dismissals with prejudice have been rare with few exceptions. Courts have managed to dispose of criminal cases within the time frames established by the Act without delaying the civil docket.