Ross v. State

605 So. 2d 17 (Miss. 1992)



Delay may prejudice the outcome of the defendant's case. The defendant must prove that this prejudice impaired a fair trial outcome; otherwise, such a claim is speculative. Prejudice may take a second form, that of harm to the defendant's personal interests. Lengthy pretrial incarceration may be unnecessarily oppressive and may pose societal disadvantages. A defendant's assertion of prejudice attributable solely to incarceration, with no other harm, typically is not sufficient to warrant reversal. Once the defendant has passed the threshold of presumptive prejudice, the burden falls on the state to disprove that prejudice. 


The defendant was found guilty of rape. He appealed, alleging that his constitutional and statutory right to speedy trial were violated because of a 378 day delay from the arrest to the start of trial. 


Were the defendant's right to speedy trial violated?




The court noted the four events that caused the delay of defendant's trial: first, defendant moved for a change of venue, which tolled the clock; second, the State successfully moved for a continuance, which did not toll the clock; third, defendant moved to suppress identification, which tolled the clock and caused defendant to miss a trial date; and last, the missed trial date pushed the trial into the next term, several months away. The court found that no constitutional or statutory right to a speedy trial was denied defendant because, despite the fact that he went to trial 378 days after his arrest, his constitutional speedy trial clock ran for only 164 days, or just over five months.

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