The Speedy Trial Act (1974)

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The Sixth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution, the Speedy Trial Act of 1974 and the states’ constitutional or statutory provisions establish the right to a speedy trial of criminal defendants. In particular, the 6th Amendment’s Clause states that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial” (Susskind, 1993).While the U. S. Constitution does not provide a precise frame of time, states’ laws specify the time within which prosecution must try a defendant. However, the computations are so complex that cases are rarely dismissed on the ground of violation of the speedy trial right (Shestokas, 2014). In fact, ironically defendants have to demand a speedy trial for these time periods to run and their …show more content…

The same principle was included in 1776 into the Virginia Declaration of Rights and then incorporated by the Framers into the Bill of Rights (Legal Information Institute, n. d.). Nowadays, the Right to a Speedy Trial is among the basic rights ensured by the Constitution, since embodies one of the fundamental liberties granted to the American citizens. The term “speedy”, although quite relative, indicates that the defendant should be brought to trial within a reasonable time after being arrested. Otherwise, the charges should be dismissed. Basically, there are three main sets of reasons behind the rationale of the Speedy Trial Clause. In the first place, obviously, there is the purpose of effectuating the right of the defendant to a speedy trial. Also, the Clause is aimed to support the public interest, as well as the victims’ and witnesses’ rights to an accurate but timely conclusion of a criminal case. Finally, a Speedy Trial should further an effective use of public resources (American Bar Association, n.

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