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September 2, 2008

Delaware Supreme Court finds violation of Sixth Amendment speedy sentencing right

Thanks to this local article, I discovered the interesting work of the Delaware Supreme Court last week in Harris v. State, No. 125, 2008 (Del Aug. 28, 2008) (available here).  Here is the start of the newspaper account of the state high court ruling:

The Delaware Supreme Court overturned the sentence of a man who pleaded guilty to sexual assault because a lower court violated his right to a speedy trial, taking six and a half years to sentence him. "We continue to assume that the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires a speedy sentencing and find that the sentencing delay in this case violated [Clinton H.] Harris's rights under that Amendment," Supreme Court Justice Henry duPont Ridgely said in the 12-page opinion issued last week.

According to court records, Harris was arrested on Sept. 16, 1999, on charges of second-degree rape and discharging a firearm from a dwelling.  Harris pleaded guilty to first-degree unlawful sexual contact Jan. 3, 2001.

Here is the actual start of the Harris opinion:

Defendant-Appellant Clinton N. Harris appeals his conviction and sentence for a crime to which he pled guilty on January 3, 2001, for which he was not sentenced until February 8, 2008. Harris argues that his motion to dismiss the indictment should have been granted because the delay in sentencing violated his right to a speedy trial and due process.... In denying his motion to dismiss, the Superior Court characterized this case as one which “fell through the cracks.”  We continue to assume that the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires a speedy sentencing and find that the sentencing delay in this case violated Harris’s rights under that Amendment.

September 2, 2008 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

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Comments

Well, a hail mary works on occasion.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Sep 2, 2008 1:16:04 PM

how do you have sex

Posted by: | Sep 13, 2008 4:23:25 PM

I am a student at Park University, I am months away from graduation in obtaining a degree in Criminal Justice. I enjoy reading current cases that violate any of the Amendments.

Posted by: Cynthia | Sep 22, 2008 8:13:50 PM

the violation of this rule really bothers me a lot. so we need to solve it.

Posted by: viagra online | May 19, 2010 1:12:20 PM

What bothers me is the state of de doesn't have him locked up in prison because he hasn't learned his lesson and he is still raping women.

Posted by: Real | May 4, 2012 8:16:46 PM

(Student Oxford) We used this case as a class study, Record stands clear of his innocent plea as not wanting to accept offered plea bargain. As the news often prints and mis-quotes for attention without detailing key facts to the reader., "man who pleaded guilty to sexual assault" as a deal not to go to trial. This is a problem of public lawyers offering pleas to soften the court loads for under privileged defendants (High percentage of innocent defendants except plea). In this case the research finds plea was to be retracted same court date - as not to accept and to go to court for a jury of peers trail. Therefore innocent until proven guilty. This case was handled and cleared correctly by the Delaware Supreme Court.

What should bother real who posted the comment by "Real" , is - . Fact is not always clear. As a citizen you will be called to serve on a jury to hear cause and determine what is to be understood without doubt. Slander follows no yield to caution. Be very careful of statements of harm.

Confirm Law, Stand by it's process! She will reveal.

Posted by: Justice | Nov 12, 2012 11:18:48 AM

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