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United States v. Loud Hawk
United States Supreme Court
474 U.S. 302 (1986)
In 1975, a federal grand jury indicted Kenneth Loud Hawk and several other people (defendants) with charges related to their possession of dynamite and firearms. The district court granted the defendants’ motion to suppress evidence related to the dynamite charges and ultimately dismissed the indictment. The government (plaintiff) appealed the district court’s suppression of the dynamite evidence and dismissal of the indictment. During nearly four years of appeals, the defendants were unconditionally released from incarceration or supervision. Ultimately, in 1980, the government reindicted the defendants. The defendants’ interlocutory appeals to dismiss those indictments were finally denied in January 1983. Trial was set for April 1983, but after one prosecution and two court continuances, the district court again dismissed the indictment in May 1983, finding that the defendants’ speedy-trial rights had been violated. A divided circuit court affirmed the district court but noted that the defendants experienced little actual prejudice from the trial delays. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Powell, J.)
Dissent (Marshall, J.)
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