Monday, January 12, 2009

Supreme Court to Hear Speedy Trial Issue Case

This week, the United States Supreme Court will be considering an interesting case that could have wide ranging implications as states and county governments are running into budget problems. The question is whether delays caused by Public Defenders constitute a violation of a Defendant's Sixth Amendment Right to a Speedy Trial? Michael Brillon was arrested and charged by Vermont law enforcement authorities with hitting his girlfriend in her face. He sat in jail for nearly three years and went through six Public Defenders before being convicted of the assault. He was sentenced to between 12 to 20 years in prison because he was a habitual offender. A Vermont appellate court threw out his conviction finding that the delays violated his Sixth Amendment Right to a Speedy Trial. The court found that the government should be held responsible for the delays since the Public Defenders work for the state and are paid by the state.

We will keep an eye out on this case because of the potential consequences in these hard economic times. State and county governments are cutting back on funding for Public Defenders, causing already overworked Public Defenders to ask for delays as they try to deal with their work load.

For more information about the Chicago criminal defense lawyers at Legal Defenders, P.C., visit us at or call us anytime at 1-800-228-7295.

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The Legal Defenders, PC

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