A speedy trial is another fundamental constitutional right guaranteed to all persons accused of crime. The right to a speedy trial is intended to avoid oppression and to prevent delays, to relieve the accused of the hardship of being held in jail indefinitely, the anxiety of a pending prosecution. and the resulting public suspicion. A speedy trial is one which can be had as soon as the prosecution with reason, able diligence can prepare for trial.
The courts have never been able to devise a single test to determine what amounts to undue delay. In certain cases a trial held within six months has been held to be a speedy one, while in Other cases the same period Of time has been held to be excessive and in violation Of the accused’s rights and sufficient justification to grant a discharge of the accused on denial of his right for a speedy trial. It all depends on how complicated the case is.
Speedy Trial Act 1974 Regulates All Law Cases
The Speedy Trial Act of 1974 give instructions and make time limits designed to protect a defendant’s speedy trial right. Therefore it is the prime duty of court to review four related factors: length of delay, reason for delay, defendant’s efforts to facilitate a speedy trial, and prejudice to the defendant.
The standards of speedy must have three purposes; 1 to effectuate the right of the accused to a speedy trial; (2) to further the interests of the public, including victims and witnesses, in the fair, accurate, and timely resolution of criminal cases; and (3) to ensure the effective utilization of resources.
The Speedy Trial Act of 1974 specifies a 30-day time limit for indictment and a 70-day time limit for bringing a defendant to trial. Excludable periods of delay are in four general categories: delays caused by pretrial motions and interlocutory appeals, delays relating to defendants, delays caused by the unavailability of witnesses or defendants, and delays relating to continuances.