505 U.S. 647 (1992)
In February 1980 defendant was indicted for conspiracy to import and distribute cocaine. When government agents went to defendant's home to arrest him, they learned he was in Colombia. In September 1981 agents learned that defendant was in Panama. In September 1982, he passed unhindered through customs and settled down in Virginia. In September 1988, the government ran a credit check and found within minutes where defendant lived. Defendant was arrested. He filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, arguing that the government's failure to prosecute him earlier violated his right to a speedy trial. The district court denied the motion and the court of appeals affirmed.
- The Superme court reversed.
- The court found that the lag between defendant's indictment and arrest clearly sufficed to trigger the speedy trial inquiry.
- The court also found that the government negligently failed to pursue defendant with diligence.
- The court determined that although to warrant relief negligence unaccompanied by particularized trial prejudice must have lasted longer than negligence demonstrably causing prejudice, the government's egregious persistence in failing to prosecute defendant was clearly sufficient.
The court reversed the court of appeals' decision which affirmed defendant's conviction for conspiring to import and distribute cocaine. The court held that the government's failure to prosecute defendant for eight years following his indictment clearly violated his right to a speedy trial.
Recommended Supplements for Criminal Procedure Criminal Procedure: Examples & Explanations, Sixth Edition
Emanuel Law Outline: Criminal Procedure