Monday, March 28, 2005

Letting the Air Out, or Shortening the Game

Stuard v. Stewart, No. 03-15300 (3-22-05). Petitioner committed "an astonishing number of armed robberies." (p. 3487). When caught, he refused to waive his speedy trial statutory right (90 days) despite his counsel's request for a continuance, and then the prosecutor's. he was of course convicted and now argues that he was forced into a Catch-22 in that he had to waive his sixth amendment right to a speedy trial in exchange for effective counsel. The 9th held that there was no Catch 22, nor Hobson's choice (to borrow from a 7th Circuit case with a similar issue). Here, the petitioner had a state statutory right to a speedy trial, that he insisted on. His counsel got ready (maybe not the best defense but he was good to go) and the state was actually scrambling. Moreover, defense counsel got the state file, and focused on the state's burden. No every choice is a Catch 22.


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