speedy trial

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The right to a speedy trial is enshrined in the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The precise contours of this constitutional right were interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514 (1972), where the Court determined that there was no “inflexible rule” regarding its abridgment. The Court specifically identified four factors undergirding its evaluation: the length of the delay, the reason for the delay, the defendant’s assertion of the right, and the prejudice to the defendant. 

[Last updated in August of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]