Matters: Right to
a Speedy Trial
FIRST PRINCIPLES: Constitutional Matters: Right to a Speedy Trial
2012 (September Term)
United States v. Wilson, 72 M.J. 347 (the constitutional right to a speedy trial is a fundamental right; it is protected both by the Sixth Amendment and Article 10).
2010 (September Term)
United States v. Arriaga, 70 M.J. 51 (whether an appellant has been deprived of his due process right to a speedy appellate review is a question of law that an appellate court reviews de novo; to determine this, the court balances the four Barker/Moreno factors: (1) the length of the delay; (2) the reasons for the delay; (3) the appellant’s assertion of the right to timely review and appeal; and (4) prejudice; no single factor is required, but a facially unreasonable length of delay triggers the full analysis).
(an accused has a constitutional due process right to a timely full and fair review of his findings and sentence).
(even in the absence of specific prejudice, a constitutional due process violation for post-trial delay still occurs if, in balancing the other three factors, the delay is so egregious that tolerating it would adversely affect the public’s perception of the fairness and integrity of the military justice system; relief in such cases is provided unless an appellate court is convinced that the post-trial delay was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt; furthermore, the court may assume a due process violation and proceed straight to the harmless beyond a reasonable doubt analysis; finally, even in instances where post-trial delay was not harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, the court cannot provide relief where there is no reasonable, meaningful relief available).
2009 (September Term)
United States v. Thompson, 68 M.J. 308 (when a servicemember is placed in pretrial confinement, Article 10, UCMJ, provides that immediate steps shall be taken to inform the accused of the charges and to either bring the accused to trial or dismiss the charges; Article 10 creates a more exacting speedy trial demand than does the Sixth Amendment).
(because Article 10 imposes a more stringent speedy trial standard than the Sixth Amendment set forth by the Supreme Court in Barker v. Wingo, 407 US 514 (1972), Sixth Amendment speedy trial standards cannot dictate whether there has been an Article 10 violation).
United States v. Tippit, 65 M.J. 69 (the Sixth
Amendment to the Constitution provides that the accused in a criminal
prosecution shall enjoy the right to a speedy trial;
a four-part test has been established for assessing whether a delay
amounts to a Sixth Amendment constitutional violation, requiring a
balancing of the length of the delay, reasons for the delay, whether
the accused demanded a speedy trial, and any prejudice to the accused
from the delay; in addition to the Sixth Amendment, timely processing
also is subject to assessment under the Due Process Clause of the Fifth
United States v. Anderson, 50 MJ 447 (analysis of a claim that charges should have been dismissed for a violation of RCM 707, the standard of review is whether the military judge abused his discretion).United States v. Doty, 51 MJ 464 (the conclusion whether an accused received a speedy trial is a legal question that is reviewed de novo; any underlying findings of fact by the military judge are given substantial deference and will be reversed only for clear error).