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09-2476 U.S. v. O’Connor

Criminal Procedure
Speedy Trial Act

A defendant must specifically object under the Speedy Trial Act to preserve the claims for appeal.

“If, as the Court held in Zedner, the defendant bears the burden of ‘spotting’ Speedy Trial Act violations, it follows that any specific violation not raised in a motion to dismiss is waived. If filing a motion to dismiss were enough to preserve all violations of the Act— whether identified in the motion or not—then the district court or the government, rather than the defendant, would effectively bear the burden of “spotting violations,” contrary to the Court’s instruction in Zedner. This would upset the statutory scheme. By placing the burden of identifying violations on the defendant, the Act links the right to dismissal with the duty to draw the court’s attention to erroneous exclusions of time. Thus, the text of § 3162(a)(2)—read as a whole and in light of the Court’s language in Zedner—strongly suggests that violations not specifically identified in the defendant’s motion to dismiss are waived, not forfeited. Having said that, we may reserve ultimate judgment on the waiver-or-forfeiture question for another day; O’Connor’s argument fails either way.”


09-2476 U.S. v. O’Connor

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Bucklo, J., Sykes, J.

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