Friday, February 23, 2007

Speedy trial win

I won today in State v. Stout, Appeal No. 95,825 (Kan. App. Feb. 23, 2007)(unpublished), affirming Judge Tuggle's dismissal of a Mitchell County kidnapping and aggravated burglary prosecution on statutory speedy trial grounds. The state appealed arguing that the district judge had failed to take into account all of the Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (1972) (discussing constitutional speedy trial right) factors before dismissal. The COA agreed with me that
The State's exclusive reliance on the Barker factors reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the rights of a criminal defendant to a speedy trial in Kansas. Such rights are protected in Kansas both by statute and constitutional provisions; the statutory provision establishes definite limits within which a defendant must be brought to trial. . . . If the statutory limits have been exceeded, there is no need for a constitutional analysis.

Because there was really little doubt that the statutory limits had been exceeded, the COA affirmed the dismissal. As a side note, I argued this case on February 6 and got a decision on February 23. Seventeen days from argument to decision may be a record for me (a speedy appeal!).

[Update: the state did not file a petition for review and the mandate issued on March 29, 2007]

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