Monday, April 29, 2013

Boyer v Louisiana

     In the case, Boyer v Louisiana, Jonathan Edward Boyer was charged for murder back in 2002, and did not get a trial until 2009. The court convicted Boyer for murder and he is now arguing that the state of Louisiana violated his 6th amendment right to a speedy trial. "Specifically, Boyer alleges that five years of delay were caused entirely by Louisiana’s failure to fund his appointed, capitally-certified counsel and that this funding failure should be weighed against the state. Louisiana counters that Boyer has no constitutional right to capitally-certified counsel and that Boyer, not the State, is responsible for the delay. In resolving the question presented, the Supreme Court will determine whether a state’s failure to fund appointed, specially-qualified counsel for an indigent capital defendant should be weighed against the state for speedy trial purposes. The decision may substantially affect indigent defendants’ constitutional rights as well as state procedures for providing indigent capital defense."
     "Boyer appealed his convictions on numerous grounds, including violations of his statutory and constitutional speedy-trial rights. In particular, Boyer alleged the seven-year delay between his original indictment and trial, during which the State held him in jail without bond, caused his mental deterioration and the loss of witnesses, including William Gallier, thereby prejudicing his defense. The Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal affirmed Boyer’s convictions and sentences, and the Louisiana Supreme Court denied Boyer’s petition for a writ of certiorari. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in the case, limited to the question of whether Louisiana’s failure to fund Boyer’s capitally-certified counsel for five years should be weighed against the State for speedy trial purposes." "The writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted."

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