Sunday, February 9, 2014

MBE Fast Fact: Speedy Trial

The right to a speedy trial is far from the most common issue tested within Criminal Procedure questions. But it does come up, and the best way to analyze these questions (in determining whether the right has been violated) is a strict analysis of the elements. The questions that do pop up often deal with whether so long a period has elapsed between arrest and indictment that the defendant's right to a speedy trial has been violated. The elements in determining whether a delay amounts to a constitutional violation are as follows:

(1): The length of the delay

(2): The good faith and justification for the delay

(3): Whether the defendant has asserted his/her right to a speedy trial

(4): Prejudice to the defendant caused by the delay

The above elements should all be considered in balancing whether the delay was unreasonable, and therefore unconstitutional. The MBE requires definite answers, so if a question requiring the above analysis were to show up, it's likely that the balance will lie heavily one way or the other.

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