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Right to a Speedy Trial (From Criminal Justice Administration Cases and Materials, Fourth Edition, P 738-763, 1991, Frank W Miller, Robert O Dawson, et al. -- See NCJ-129355)

NCJ Number
F W Miller; R O Dawson; G E Dix; R I Parnas
Date Published
26 pages
This chapter identifies the protections given both State and Federal court defendants under the speedy trial guarantee of the 14th amendment and reviews the Federal Speedy Trial Act in its implementation.
In Barker v. Wingo (1972), the U.S. Supreme Court held that even though the State had secured 16 continuances of the petitioner's trial, extending from October 23, 1958, to October 9, 1963, the defendant's right to a speedy trial was not denied since the record strongly indicates that the defendant did not want a speedy trial under advice of competent counsel. The Federal Speedy Trial Act requires that an indictment or information be presented within 30 days from arrest or issuance of a summons with a 30-day extension if no grand jury is in session. If a defendant pleads not guilty, he/she must be brought to trial within 70 days, but not less than 30 days from the filing date of the information or indictment or from the date the defendant appeared before a judicial officer of the court in which the charge is pending, whichever date last occurs. In United States v. Taylor (1988), the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a court of appeal's affirmation of a district court's dismissal with prejudice of a case that did not comply with the requirements of the Federal Speedy Trial Act. The Supreme Court reasoned that the district court ignored the brevity of the delay and the consequential lack of prejudice to the respondent as well as respondent's own illicit contribution to the delay. Case notes are provided.