Speedy Trial




The Act is a clause in the USConstitution’s Sixth Amendment,which protects an accused person’s case from being delayed betweenthe time of filing an indictment or other charging material and thecommencement of trial. The United States Constitution assures everyperson accused of criminal charges the right to a speedy trial.Furthermore, the Act of 1974 establishes time limitswithin the procedure of a federal prosecution.

The Act of 1974 serves two purposes. First, it preventsdefendants from spending much time in prison before trial. It alsostates that an indictment must be filed in a period of thirty days.Additionally, it requires that the trial must start within seventydays after the date the indictment or information was filed.Accordingly, a ’s time limit eliminates pretrial delays(Champion et al., 2012).

Second,the Act of 1974 protects the defendant’s right to afair prosecution. If a trial is postponed or takes too long to start,evidence could be lost. Additionally, memories will fade, andwitnesses will disappear (Champion et al., 2012). The risks threatenthe defense and the prosecution. However, the defendant is themost-affected person since his or her freedom is involved in thecriminal proceeding (Del, 2006).

Thecase of UnitedStates v. Marion,404 U.S. 307 in 1971 is an example where the defendant was held forthree years after the indictment was filed. The defendant argued thatthe prosecutors knew his involvement in the case yet they did notaccuse him. The Act ensures that defendants do notsuffer lengthy detentions without trial. However, there are somesituations where the defendant needs time to prepare for his or hercase. For instance, the Powellv. Alabama,287 U.S. 45 case in 1932 is an example where the accusation periodwas short for Powell to prepare for his defense (Del, 2006).


Champion,D. J., Hartley, R. D., &amp Rabe, G. A. (2012). Criminalcourts: Structure, process, and issues (3rd ed.).Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

Del,C. R. V. (2006). Criminalprocedure: Law and practice.Belmont, CA: Thomson/ Wadsworth.