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Fair and Speedy Trial

The recent news on the Titus & Ryan case could push this trial back further. We’ve received a few emails asking what about a fair and speedy trial. The Web site Answers.com shares the following:

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees all persons accused of criminal wrongdoing the right to a speedy trial. Although this right is derived from the federal Constitution, it has been made applicable to state criminal proceedings through the U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The right to a speedy trial is an ancient liberty. During the reign of Henry II (1154-1189), the English Crown promulgated the Assize of Clarendon, a legal code comprised of twenty-two articles, one of which promised speedy justice to all litigants. In 1215 the Magna Charta prohibited the king from delaying justice to any person in the realm. Several of the charters of the American colonies protected the right to a speedy trial, as did most of the constitutions of the original thirteen states.

The Founding Fathers intended the Speedy Trial Clause to serve two purposes. First, they sought to prevent defendants from languishing in jail for an indefinite period before trial. Pretrial incarceration is a deprivation of liberty no less serious than post-conviction imprisonment. In some cases pretrial incarceration may be more serious because public scrutiny is often heightened, employment is commonly interrupted, financial resources are diminished, family relations are strained, and innocent persons are forced to suffer prolonged injury to reputation.

Second, the Founding Fathers sought to ensure a defendant’s right to a fair trial. The longer the commencement of trial is postponed, the more likely it is that witnesses will disappear, memories will fade, and evidence will be lost or destroyed. Of course, both the prosecution and the defense are threatened by these dangers, but only the defendant’s life, liberty, and property are at stake in a criminal proceeding.

The right to a speedy trial does not apply to every stage of a criminal case. It arises only after a person has been arrested, indicted, or otherwise formally accused of a crime by the government. Before the point of formal accusation, the government is under no Sixth Amendment obligation to investigate, accuse, or prosecute a defendant within a specific amount of time.

Nor does the Speedy Trial Clause apply to post-trial criminal proceedings, such as probation and parole hearings. If the government drops criminal charges during the middle of a case, the Speedy Trial Clause does not apply unless the government later refiles the charges, at which point the length of delay is measured only from the time of refiling. However, the fairness requirements of the Due Process Clause apply during each juncture of a criminal case, and an unreasonably excessive delay can be challenged under this constitutional provision even if the delay occurs before formal accusation or after conviction.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to draw a bright line separating permissible pretrial delays from delays that are impermissibly excessive. Instead, the Court has developed a balancing test in which the length of delay is just one factor to be considered when evaluating the merits of a speedy trial claim. The other factors to be considered by a court include the reason for the delay, the severity of prejudice suffered by the defendant from the delay, and the stage during the criminal proceedings at which the defendant asserted the right to a speedy trial.

A delay of at least one year in bringing a defendant to trial following arrest will trigger a presumption that the Sixth Amendment has been violated, with the level of judicial scrutiny increasing in direct proportion to the length of delay. A longer delay may be deemed constitutional, however, and a shorter delay may be deemed unconstitutional, depending on the circumstances.

Longer delays will be permitted to accommodate the schedules of important witnesses, and to allow the prosecution to prepare for a complex case. Longer delays will also be tolerated when a defendant is dilatory in asserting the right to a speedy trial. In general, defendants must assert their Sixth Amendment right in a timely motion before the trial court. If the defendant fails to assert the right in this manner, or acquiesces in the face of protracted pretrial delays, she may not raise the issue for the first time on appeal, unless the defendant’s failure to raise the issue earlier was due to her attorney’s negligence. Defendants who delay prosecution by inundating the trial court with frivolous pretrial motions are also treated as having forfeited their rights to a speedy trial. The law does not allow defendants to profit from their own wrong under these circumstances.

Read more of this article here.

33 Responses to “Fair and Speedy Trial”

  1. darkstar Says:

    My guess is that CT and KR waived time way back when they first appeared in court. That’s generally when these sort of scheduling things happen.

    No violation of the 6th here. The delays have been equally from both sides and in the defendant’s best interests.

    d*

  2. chainsaw Says:

    d*

    But society has an interest as well in it. I mean, if a accused killer is found innocent, the real murder is still out there, and it is the cops duty to catch them. So we the people do have an interest in a speedy trial. This has been nothing but speedy, and this stuff that saggase is bringing up should have been handled months ago.

  3. Click To View Video Says:

    Kelly Ryan’s Letters from Inside Jail.

  4. wayne mortensen Says:

    Yeah, just watched the video of KRs letter writing on that video. I will say this, she has sure had time to get her penmanship looking better, she has worked on her art and now she is probably like other cons, an accomplished artist. Also, she has brushed up on her Bible reading, but I think it is a little late for reading the Bible. Most cons find God in prison, hoping God will get them out of jail. I guess now she can start on working on her leather skills, making leather wallets.

  5. WTF Says:

    Maybe shel’ll rub her bush on your license plate only you’ll never get the stench off!

  6. darkstar Says:

    Chain,

    I dont quite understand the point you are trying to make…

    Saggese is asking for a delay because the defendants are out of cash to pay him. This is obviously a recent situation. He is not going to make a lack of speedy trial argument based on that.

    Saggese and the defendants dont get a constitutional right to a speedy trial pass because these issues “should have been handled” by Sagesse earlier…”We delayed the trial by filing baseless motions, etc… so now we want a mistrial based on the fact we did not receive a speedy trial…”

    Sorry. Wrong answer. Go to the end of the line. Trials do not have to be “speedy” to be fair and within constitutional due process requirements. There is no violation of that in this case. It is rare in any case.

    Also, your premise of when an accused murderer is found not guilty that the real murderer is still out there is faulty. OJ comes to mind…the cops found the real killer…the jury let him walk, and everybody knows it, including OJ.

    Society’s interest is in justice, whether it takes a week or 5 years, or even longer if necessary.

    d*

  7. darkstar Says:

    Chain,

    One more thing…

    No one is entitled to a private attorney…that is why most defendants are assigned the public defender. If the county wont pay for the experts Saggese wants, (and let’s be clear, Saggese’s fee as well, because that will be next…) then Saggese will be withdrawing from the case. He doesnt work for free, and he has as much as said he isnt fronting the money himself for the experts…thats why he wants the county to pay! They have already said this case may drag into 2008! Motions still need to be filed, and the bills will keep coming…except it is clear now there is no more money.

    Say what you want about one getting the justice they can afford…maybe…like OJ…but more often than not, they get the justice they deserve.

    d*

  8. chainsaw Says:

    Could this be Saggase’s way of gettin off the trial? Sayin if he doesn’t have the tools to defend, i.e the $$$$$, than he’s gonna quit. Could he have known this since the Murder for Hire plot? Or maybe he has the cash and is just looking for more delays. I bet Kelly’s dad in funding her defense, but not his.

  9. darkstar Says:

    Chain,

    It is very simple. Private lawyers need money to stay in business. Its a business. If CT is out of money, he cant pay Saggese. Saggese wont work for free. CT is not worth it.

    My take is that Saggese knew that $$ was going to get thin from the get go. If CT does have the money, yet Saggese is trying to get it from the county, well, that’s unethical, and maybe even fraud.

    I doubt Saggese would risk that. I do think it is not out of the question that Saggese might withdraw sometime soon.

    That’s what happens when you get sucked into the system. It often spirals out of one’s control. I dont know what the local rules are for an attorney withdrawing at this stage, but I think if Sagesse wants out, he can get out without too much problem.

    d*

  10. shockandawe Says:

    Frivolous pre-trial motions… thy name is Titus! :)

  11. darkstar Says:

    HA! Well, maybe CT will sue Saggese for filing frivilous motions and burning up all his cash!

    Not likely…

    d*

  12. Disgusted Says:

    d* is correct. If a client comes to me with no money I refer them elsewhere as I have no time for free services. All an attorney has to sell is their services which unlike tangible goods cannot be repossessed like a car. Many an attorney has been stiffed by even the richest of clients so when one comes along who obviously has no assets, bail out quick!

  13. Voice of reason Says:

    d*

    Perhaps if CT could keep his big mouth shut and his attorney and the judicial process proceed he won’t owe as much.

  14. darkstar Says:

    Voice of Reason,

    Well, it looks good on paper, but I think you know as well as I do that the chances of a defense attorney (or some clients as well) keeping quiet and letting the proceeding move forward unheeded is slim and none, and slim just left town…
    I dont blame the defense attorneys so much…that is what they are supposed to do, and if I was in a bad spot legally I would want the toughest SOB I could find on my side.
    Having said that, there comes a time when CT’s big mouth starts working against him, and his lawyer cant do a thing about it…

    d*

  15. darkstar Says:

    Speaking of speedy trials, or the lack of, look at the Phil Spector murder case…that shooting happened in 2003…it has just been delayed again, and jury selection is now scheduled for March…

    Delays are nothing new, and I’d guess Titus/Ryan will have a few more…

    d*

  16. chainsaw Says:

    I wonder if Saggase will see if CT is mentally fit to stand trial. His mouth does show us he is a can short of a six pack!

  17. darkstar Says:

    Chain,

    HA! Good one…!!

    I have no doubt that CT, one can short of a 6 pack nonwithstanding, fully understands the proceedings against him and is able to assist in his defense…Of course, his “assistance” so far has been questionable, but the law doesnt make that distinction as to quality…

    Even if he was unable to participate or understand what was happening, they would simply delay the trial while he was sent to a mental institution until he “recovered”…

    Hey, maybe that is a tactic they will use to delay further!

    Nah, probably not. .CT is no where near insane…

    d*

  18. KNEW THEM Says:

    If I am not mistaken, didn’t Geragos get more money during the S. Peterson trial. I think it was given to avoid any type of an appeal. If someone knows, let me know. By the way got word KR’s pop is not putting in a Dime.

  19. chainsaw Says:

    That stinks about KR’s dad. It looks like Craiger’s is right…. Unfortunately… If it was my daughter. Shit… That’s not right whether she is right or wrong.

  20. Venice Says:

    Craig has gone on record as saying how much KR’s dad was against her marrying him…

    Father knows best in this instance - for sure.

    The guy is in his golden years and now he suppose to go broke and live out his life in squalor for an outcome that prob won’t be affected by throwing more money at it…there are 2 sides to that coin - it doesn’t mean he doesn’t lov his daughter

  21. shockandawe Says:

    Venice, I agree. But I’m not sure about the source of that story. KNEW THEM, where did you get that information and how reliable is it? Just saying you “knew them” isn’t really enough. No offense intended. I knew them too, but it’s interesting to hear that you learned that. I’d just like to know from what source or where?

    Anyway, back to the issue…
    I agree with Venice because it’s true… his daughter is an adult. She made her own bed with this guy, against EVERYONE’S urging and married him. I know he doesn’t want to see her go down, but he also probably doesn’t want to see that monetary support WATERED down between them. I can understand that - though stubborn - it’s probably a source of great soreness and grief. Also, remember, he was still close to Kelly’s mom, though divorced, and saw her DIE over this - from the stress of it.

    He is probably disgusted with his own daughter, too. I’m sure he loves her, but he’s probably like, “What in GOD’S NAME have you done with the privileged life I gave you!!??” She basically grew up with all advantages, was doing well in her life, and then pissed it away by SLUMMING with Titus.

    Lie down in the gutter and you’re likely to catch a fatal disease.
    I think that disease, in this case, is called “possible life in prison” -
    And just think, if she had never married Craig, she could possibly be on next season’s Housewives of Orange County, in Coto, flitting around in tennis skirts and attending garden parties.

  22. darkstar Says:

    shock,

    It does appear that CT is the root of her demise..

    Not that that excuses her participation in these crimes…

    If CT is not in her life, very likely she would have continued to excel at her craft…and not be facing life at the graybar hotel…

    But, like you said, if you play with fire…(bad joke, and not intended….it just popped out…)

    d*

  23. chainsaw Says:

    I don’t know about KR… I didn’t know her, she seemed bubbley, but a little white trashy at the same time. After she married CT of course is when I encountered her.

  24. shockandawe Says:

    Yeah, Chain, and let me tell you, I knew Kel before she knew Craig and she was NOT white trash. I mean, she was midwest, (though it was South Carolina) and not sophisticated, not exactly intellectual, but also a LOT more classy than the junkyard dog/street ho persona Craig gave her permission to be.

    She got “slicker” in terms of her “game” and dress, and such. Though some could say it was classless, but she got a lot more “big city” in her dress and demeanor, and attitude, for sure. She changed from a sweet girl next door to this manufactured vixen Craig wanted her to be. Only, she didn’t realize that who she was before was way more appealing. She was truly the Dorothy who thought she had to leave home to find what she was seeking.. and she never did have to.

    I need to say this though… not only because I’ve had a few glasses of wine with dinner, but also because it’s been eating at me terribly…

    I was friendly - not exactly friends and not exactly close - but friendly, with Craig back in the late 90’s. My ex and I used to visit Craig during his time at Lompoc. We would go and try to lighten his day and be his friend when everyone else had forgotten him, so that he would, hopefully, turn around and see that good people could be his friends and that he didn’t have to take this path. I feel we gave him a lot of ourselves. This was before I became good friends with Kel.

    In the meantime, I became good friends with Kelly and we used to go out in Santa Monica and Hollywood and have some good fun. She was a blast and I enjoyed her energy and humor and laughter. She was a good girl.

    When Craig got out, I arranged to have a limo and a few of his buddies, friends, acquaintances, a photog in the sport and some of my friends along. We all went to Key Club and partied to celebrate Craig making a new start. Of course as my compadre,, Kel came along. It was that night that Kel had this thing for Craig that you could see growing by the second… She just had it for him..

    He said he had it for her, but I knew Craig like a brother, and knew that he was a cad and a dog and all of that - and funny and entertaining and (in better days) fun to be around - a bad boy but in an innocuous way… just bedding fitness chicks, not being a druggie and murderer. I thought it was that. I think in the beginning it was, but then Kelly kind of gave him the benefit of the doubt as a person that no woman had before. I think it truly disarmed him emotionally - it wasn’t waht he expected from any woman. She also gave him a present - some trainers for the gym - and I remember him saying, “No girl has ever given me a gift like this - not even some girlfriends.”

    So, what’s all this leading to?

    Long story short, I guess I have felt the burden of SO MUCH GUILT for being at the root of their attraction and getting together. It may not make sense to anyone, but I loved Kel like a sister and though I had a lot of genuine affection/ comeraderie with Craig, I really was like “uh-oh”… when Kel said she wanted Craig in a big and serious way. I said, “Honey, I just hope it’s for a one night stand or a one month stand or something.. don’t get too attached.. it’s like the scorpion and the frog, etc..”

    Well, it just ignited in front of my eyes, and it was just out of control.. and then he even started isolating her from me as a friend. And that whole cycle began. He reasoned it was because of soemthing I wrote about them (but it was something that Craig had said and then denied later on, to create friction between us as friends - odd, I know, but this is the truth) and that they wanted to be sequestered from all of the negative talk. But folks this wasn’t just negative talk, this was a landslide of opposition. I know it made her, him, them mad to hear it, but these were people saying, “look, I mean, we all find Craig amusing, but you’re NOT of this ilk. You’re better than this and he’ll only drag you down to his depths…. don’t do it.”

    But he made her promise him that she would blow the whistle on anyone talking shit about him, and the false, manufactured allegiance began. This was the first stage of his control over her. And she needed to be controlled. It was her Achilles Heel. I knew this as her friend. I knew she was a goner.

    Anyhow, I guess though I already made him, her and them mad for speaking my mind about all of it, I wish I’d spoken it stronger. I wish I had said, “Kel, I’m going to do whatever it takes to see to it that you DON’T get together and you fail together..” I wish I’d said that. She would have hated me for years, but we ended up in a massive feud anyhow, so what’s the difference? I ought to have gone for broke. I bet in her heart, today, she wished that I had done that - cared enough to do that. I did care very much, but I was also being threatened by Craig and his goons too. Death threats, threats of bodily harm…. all in emails I couldn’t pin down and couldn’t go to anyone with.

    I remember him trying to bury the hatchet at one point and inviting me out to Century Club to party - I got this weird feeling that he would drug my drink (sounded paranoid to people then, but probably not now) and that he would harm me. This was NOT an average or normal feeling that anyone would LOGICALLY feel… but just instinct. I declined as a result of that feeling and I’m glad I did. But we all didn’t talk for 5 years. I then interviewed Kel and it was nice to reconnect, but we never spoke after that. .. Six to seven months later, they were arrested for Melissa’s murder.

    It crushes me to this day and it killed me for MONTHS this past year- all of this regret and history and connection to these two. I can’t tell you how utterly sad and disturbed I’ve been.

    I know this is a lot and people are going to say “Meltdown” etc, etc. etc.
    But this is real for me and this has been what’s so hard about this. At moments like this, I am really sad and tortured.

  25. shockandawe Says:

    Please forgive my response. It’s been a long day and a long night and you caught me a bit too reflective for these boards.

    It’s been a difficult year mulling over all of this, and losing a lot of sleep.

    I’m sure my loss of sleep is nothing in comparison to the sleep both of these two have lost - guilty or innocent.

  26. darkstar Says:

    Shock,

    Dont beat yourself up…you did what you thought was right at the time…looking back it is easy to second guess yourself and wish you had done more…

    Sure, its a no win situation, but you do need to remember that Kelly made the decision to get involved with Craig.

    I have had similar relationships, some ongoing as we speak, and yes, when you care about someone, it is tough to watch them self destruct and make decisions that put them in precarious and unfavorable situations…

    You did what you could. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, I am sure you will still have a personal concern for Kelly. She will no doubt need your friendship after this is all over.

    d*

  27. chainsaw Says:

    Shock:

    d* is right. I believe that a whole chain of little occurances happening in succession triggered this tradgedy. We all know no one can guide someone blinded by love or temporary infatuation, whatever you wish to call it.

  28. shockandawe Says:

    I appreciate the comments… Iwas feeling pretty down about it the other night. I haven’t felt that down about it for awhile, but that night… it just bugged me and tortured me.

    I know that she is a big girl.. I guess I just pride myself on being a good friend to the handful of people I call friends. I just wish that there was something I could have done. Powerlessness isn’t an easy feeling. We all experience it, so I’m not alone, but I have to say, I just wish that I had fought harder and known in my heart, “Yeah, I did all I could do.”

    Thanks for being voices of reason, and not ribbing the crap out of me for saying all of that.

    Cheers mates!

  29. formerfitness Says:

    Wow. sounds like Kelly and Craig … were the ‘perfect storm’… waiting to happen.

    Shock.. I think ‘they’ would have connected as a couple eventually being in the same bb/fitness scene. It is also true …you can’t sway someone “blinded” as D* put it. In a twisted way, they probably did bring each other some much needed, albeit, ’sordid’ happiness. Sounds like Kelly was the best thing Craig ever had in his life… another possible reason for not ‘rolling’ on her after all of his crizzap she endured. Their actions in the end were their own. I’m sure there are lots of people thinking the same way you are that knew Kelly ‘back when’
    Hope you don’t continue to beat yourself on this.
    Thanks for sharing.

  30. Johnny2007 Says:

    SHOCKANDAWE, U said: “My ex and I used to visit Craig during his time at Lompoc. We would go and try to lighten his day and be his friend when everyone else had forgotten him, so that he would, hopefully, turn around and see that good people could be his friends and that he didn’t have to take this path…” U also said: “When Craig got out, I arranged to have a limo and a few of his buddies, friends, acquaintances, a photog in the sport and some of my friends along. We all went to Key Club and partied to celebrate Craig making a NEW start…” And finally U say: “but I was also being threatened by Craig and his goons too. Death threats, threats of bodily harm…. all in emails I couldn’t pin down and couldn’t go to anyone with….” SHOCKANDAWE, I really feel more sorry for you that you would hang around such a character as Craig Titus if he was such a jerk…which you had already known him to be. Did you fall for his ranting after he got out of prison saying he was going to make a comeback in bodybuilding by growing bigger and stronger than he was before?? As I consistantly maintain in my comments on this site…when you consider the character that CT was and inject the amount of steroids he did to compete in BB…man, what a roid rage you have. Add the crystal meth etc and he must have become a real jerk. After jail, a real friend you would have pointed him towards rehab…not going out to party in a stretch limo. However had you had tried to get him into rehab he would have totally gone ballistic on you. But you would have seen his true colors…so I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over what happened…in either case both Craig and Kelly made their own beds by both their actions. Look at this lifestyle and remember: it takes two to tango!

  31. shockandawe Says:

    Johnny,
    The sequence of things happening in all of this is not something I choose or need to share. I shared what I did because of my feelings, not because I needed some butt plug to quote me and argue about it. I didn’t “hang around” Craig, believe it or not… I felt, and still feel, that people can benefit from the kindnesses of others. I don’t wish to elaborate more on the details, because I don’t wish to divulge who I am. It’s not your business or anyone else’s.

    I am no idiot, and no sucker, and no, I didn’t “fall” for anything. The reasons I was being threatened by him later on had to do with NOT putting up with bullshit, and ESPECIALLY because of having tried to be a friend and positive force in his life… to be of service as a human being… and then getting dissed hard. So I told him off and he didn’t like it. I paid the price for that and kept going public about the threats and he got even worse.

    So… my point is, I shared what I shared NOT to impart details for you to latch onto and argue about (it isn’t up for discussion or argument actually), but to share my true struggle with it. Sorry if you being a super human means you cannot relate to use “regular folks”.

    Wanker.

  32. KNEW THEM Says:

    Yeah! Just what he said, Johnny Boy(toy)! Tell him Shock!

  33. shockandawe Says:

    Johnny,
    You are exceedingly immature and disconnected from all of this. The speculative world that you imagine you know here isn’t what you know at all. There are seedy sides, but so are there seedy sides in every industry.
    Point is, you don’t know people. So no matter what world you circulate in, you don’t understand people and that, while they look bad once everything has come out in the wash about the murder of a girl, it doesn’t tell you anything about how, on a lot of occasions, that person was funny - truly funny - and entertaining, and enjoyable. Or that the girl you hate for having “fallen for Craig’s bullshit” and then getting arrested for it, was once a really great person - as good as you and me, and maybe better.
    I don’t glorify her or what she has become - nor him - but you have to understand that before someone derails, they have to start somewhere. And for Kelly, at least, that somewhere was a pretty spectacular place before Craig. And even Craig, for all his sociopathic traits, also had a very soft side. I think he’s gone way down hill in an addiciton and behavior cycle that maybe isn’t reversable, but I also know that before he made that decline, he was also capable of a lot of good things and had a lot of good potential - as a person, a personality and an athlete.

    It wasn’t to be though.

    Maybe one day, for you, something you are sure will be in your future, will seem improbable in the end. Maybe even impossible.

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