Prior to the Supreme Court's decision in Klopfer, only defendants in federal courts enjoyed the Sixth Amendment right to a SPEEDY TRIAL. Consequently, legislation in many states permitted prosecutors to postpone bringing pending cases to trial indefinitely. Declaring such state laws unconstitutional, the Court, in an opinion by Chief Justice EARL WARREN, held that the right to a speedy trial is a FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT incorporated by the DUE PROCESS CLAUSE of the FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT and thus fully applicable in state trials.
WENDY E. LEVY
(SEE ALSO: Incorporation Doctrine.)