Sixth Amendment Right to a Speedy Trial
Overview of the sixth amendment right to a speedy trial:
Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (U.S. S.Ct. 1972)
Violations of the Sixth Amendment’s right to a speedy trial are triggered upon an indictment or preferral of the charges. United States v. McGraner, 13 M.J. 408 (C.M.A. 1982); United States v. Grom, 21 M.J. 53 (C.M.A. 1985). The test to determine whether a delay is unconstitutional was established in Barker v. Wingo.
The factors include: length of delay; reason for delay; assertion of the right; and prejudice to accused. Wingo, 407 U.S. at 514. In United States v. Edmond, 41 M.J. 419 (C.A.A.F. 1995), the Court of Appeals applied the Barker test and concluded there was no Sixth Amendment violation.
The length of deay was 176 days from preferral to trial; the reason for delay was due to unavailability of witnesses because of homeport change and necessity of trying co-accused shipmates; the accused did not assert his right to a speedy trial; and there existed only a slight prejudice to the accused, his defense was not impaired, he was not restrained, and he had not suffered abnormal anxiety.