The Right to a Speedy Trial
The United States Constitution guarantees us the right to a speedy trial. The Supreme Court will soon decide whether spending three years in jail — waiting to be tried — is considered a “speedy trial.”
Most people with an IQ higher than their shoe size will agree that three years does not a speedy trial make. Unfortunately, the suspect in this case will be a perfect poster child for the usual rightwing drivel about “coddling criminals” and being “soft on crime.”
Michael Brillon, of Bennington, Vermont, was charged with assault after punching his girlfriend in the face. He has previous convictions for obstruction of justice and sexual assault on a minor.
Obviously this asswipe should serve a long prison sentence, or get the shit beat out of him by a friend or relative of the victim, or something. But — not until AFTER he’s been tried and found guilty.
Brillon was convicted of this assault charge in 2004 — after waiting three years for his trial. He was sentenced to 12 to 20 years for the assault charge plus being a habitual offender. A Vermont court overturned the conviction because Brillon’s Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial had been violated.
And now a huge coalition of governors, mayors, county governments and a victims’ rights group has appealed this case to the U.S. Supreme Court. They’re worried that if Brillon’s conviction isn’t reinstated, other criminals will wiggle out of their prison sentences using that same speedy trial “gimmick.”
Here’s a thought: Maybe they could wait less than three years before putting a suspect on trial. DUUUHHH!!!
Don’t they study the Constitution in schools any more?
cross-posted at Bring It On!