Speedy Trial Clause
|Criminal trials and convictions|
|Rights of the accused|
|Related areas of law|
The Speedy Trial Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "[i]n all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy . . . trial . . . ." The Clause protects the defendant from delay between the presentation of the indictment or similar charging instrument and the beginning of trial.
In Barker v. Wingo (1972), the Supreme Court developed a four-part test that considers the length of the delay, the reasons for the delay, the defendant's assertion of his right to a speedy trial, and the prejudice to the defendant. A violation of the Speedy Trial Clause is cause for dismissal with prejudice of a criminal case.
Speedy trial statutes
In addition to the constitutional guarantee, various state and federal statutes confer a more specific right to a speedy trial. The prosecution must be "ready for trial" within six months on all felonies except murder, or the charges are dismissed by action of law without regard to the merits of the case. This is also known as a "ready rule".
- Nicholaidis, N. (1989). "Sixth Amendment Right to a Speedy and Public Trial". American Criminal Law Review 26 (4): 1489–1505. NCJ 122967.
- Fair Trial, Criminal - Impartiality., Speedy Trial., The Right to Confront Witnesses., Prejudicial Publicity and Cameras in Court
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