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|Waiver of a right to a speedy trial|
|Written by Steve|
Zender v. United States, Opinion No. 05-5992
Argued April 18, 2006
The United States Supreme Court was asked to determine if a defendant may prospectively waive his right to a speedy trial pursuant to the Speedy Trial Act of 1974.
In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Alito, with a concurrence in part and a concurrence in the judgment written by Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court held that a defendant may not prospectively waive his rights to a speedy trial under the Speedy Trial Act of 1974.
Additionally, when a district court makes no findings on the record in support of a continuance, subsequent harmless-error review is not appropriate.
Defendant Jacob Zedner was indicted on charges of attempting to open bank accounts using counterfeit United States bonds. Zedner’s trial did not commence until more than seven years after his indictment, after he had requested several continuances.
After his third continuance request, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York suggested that Zedner waive the application of the Speedy
Zedner was convicted and sentenced to 63 months in
The United States Supreme Court reversed and remanded the holding of the Court of Appeals, holding that a defendant may not prospectively waive his rights to a speedy trial under the Speedy Trial Act. Further still, the Supreme Court held that Zedner was not judicially estopped from challenging the excludability of a 1997 continuance under the Act.
Finally, the Supreme Court held that when a district court makes no findings on the record in support of a continuance under the act, subsequent harmless-error review is not appropriate.
Legalnut.com offers summaries to its visitors for informational purposes. These summaries are not intended to be a comprehensive resource of case law, nor a substitute for comprehensive legal research. Legal decisions should not be based on the legal summaries provided. In-depth legal research and/or consultation with a competent attorney are required, and these summaries are not to be deemed a substitute to or for either.
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