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Court Backlogs & Speedy Trial
As courts shuttered their doors at the onset of COVID-19, the number of civil and criminal cases pending quickly piled up. Over a year into the pandemic, courts now face significant backlogs, presenting both logistical dilemmas for administrators and speedy trial concerns for individuals facing trial.
Testimony to the House Judiciary on Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture and Proposed Reforms (July 1996)
Asset Forfeiture Abuse Task Force co-chair E.E. (Bo) Edwards's testimony to the House Judiciary Committee regarding the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (H.R. 1916, 1995) and federal asset forfeiture programs.
Statement to the House Judiciary on Federal Civil Asset Forfeiture and Proposed Reforms (July 1996)
Asset Forfeiture Abuse Task Force co-chairs E.E. (Bo) Edwards, David B. Smith, and Richard Troberman's written statement to the House Judiciary Committee regarding the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act (H.R. 1916, 1995) and federal asset forfeiture programs.
Bloate v. United States
Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of Petitioner.
Argument: The Speedy Trial Act advances the public’s interest in an efficient and fair criminal justice system, as Congress intended, and the Court should reject any expansion of the Act’s automatic exclusions that threatens achievement of the important purposes and significant benefits of the Act.
United States v. Tinklenberg
Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in support of respondent.
Argument: In the case below, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that a pretrial motion must actually cause a delay, or the expectation of a delay, of trial in order to create excludable time. United States v. Tinklenberg, 579 F.3d 589 (6th Cir. 2009). (Every other federal circuit which has addressed this issue appears to have held that the filing of any pretrial motion stops the Speedy Trial clock, regardless of whether the motion has any impact on the trial's start date.) To assess the effect of Tinklenberg in actual practice, amicus contacted defense attorneys in each of the district courts in the Sixth Circuit to inquire how Tinklenberg has affected their practice and how courts have managed pretrial motions under the Speedy Trial Act both before and after Tinklenberg. The survey found that the “actual delay” rule has not adversely affected the courts’ and parties’ management of the speedy trial clock.
Robey v. United States
Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner.
Argument: The question whether a district court must provide specific and individualized reasons on the record before an ends-of-justice continuance counts as excludable time is vitally important for ensuring speedy trials. The circuits are divided on how to review ends-of-justice continuances. The circuit conflict is important because district courts frequently use the ends-of-justice provision to grant continuances. Congress created the STA with the public interest firmly in mind and only strict compliance with the Act's on-the-record requirement will protect the public interest. Judicial enforcement of the STA is particularly important in circuits, like the Seventh, that are relatively slow in disposing of criminal cases.