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Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the right to a speedy trial guaranteed?

The right to a speedy trial is explicitly guaranteed in the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution:

"In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence."

Additionally, in its unanimous opinion in Klopfer v. North Carolina (1967), the United States Supreme Court held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment applies the Speedy Trial Clause of the Sixth Amendment to the states:

"By indefinitely postponing prosecution on the indictment over petitioner's objection and without stated justification, the State denied petitioner the right to a speedy trial guaranteed to him by the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Federal Constitution."

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