Strunk v. United States 8212 5521, No. 72

CourtUnited States Supreme Court
Citation37 L.Ed.2d 56,412 U.S. 434,93 S.Ct. 2260
Decision Date11 June 1973
PartiesClarence Eugene STRUNK, Petitioner, v. UNITED STATES. —5521
Docket NumberNo. 72

412 U.S. 434
93 S.Ct. 2260
37 L.Ed.2d 56
Clarence Eugene STRUNK, Petitioner,

v.

UNITED STATES.

No. 72—5521.
Argued April 24, 1973.
Decided June 11, 1973.

Syllabus

Petitioner was convicted of a federal offense and was sentenced to a term of five years, to run concurrently with a sentence of one to three years that he was serving pursuant to a state-court conviction. Before trial, the District Court denied his motion to dismiss the federal charge on the ground that he had been denied a speedy trial. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that he had been denied a speedy trial, but that the 'extreme' remedy of dismissal of the charges was not warranted. The case was remanded to the District Court to reduce the sentence by 259 days, to compensate for the unnecessary delay that had occurred between the return of the indictment and petitioner's arraignment. The government did not file a cross-petition for certiorari challenging the finding of denial of a speedy trial. Held: In this case, the only question for review is the propriety of the remedy fashioned by the Court of Appeals. In light of the policies underlying the right to a speedy trial, dismissal must remain, as noted in Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 522, 92 S.Ct. 2182, 2188, 33 L.Ed.2d 101, 'the only possible remedy' for deprivation of this constitutional right. Pp. 2261—2264.

467 F.2d 969, reversed and remanded.

John R. Wideikis, Chicago, Ill., for petitioner, pro hac vice, by special leave of Court.

William Bradford Reynolds, Washington, D.C., for respondent.

Opinion of the Court by Mr. Chief Justice BURGER, announced by Mr. Justice DOUGLAS.

Petitioner was found guilty in United States District Court of transporting a stolen automobile from

Page 435

Wisconsin to Illinois in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 2312 and was sentenced to a term of five years. The five-year sentence was to run concurrently with a sentence of one to three years that petitioner was then serving in the Nebraska State Penitentiary pursuant to a conviction in the courts of that State.

Prior to trial, the District Court denied a motion to dismiss the federal charge, in which petitioner argued that he had been denied his right to a speedy trial. At trial petitioner called no witnesses and did not take the stand; the jury returned a verdict of guilty. The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court, holding that petitioner had in fact been denied a speedy trial. However, the court went on to hold that the 'extreme' remedy of dismissal of the charges was not warranted; the case was remanded to the District Court to reduce petitioner's sentence to the extent of 259 days in order to compensate for the unnecessary delay which had occurred between return of the indictment and petitioner's arraignment.

I

Certiorari was granted on petitioner's claim that, once a judicial determination has been made that an accused has been denied a speedy trial, the only remedy available to the court is 'to reverse the conviction, vacate the sentence, and dismiss the indictment.' No cross-petition was filed by the Government to review the determination of the Court of Appeals that the defendant had been denied a speedy trial. The Government acknowledges that, in its present posture, the case presents a novel and unresolved issue, not controlled by any prior decisions of this Court.

The Court of Appeals stated that the 10-month delay which occurred was 'unusual and call(ed) for explanation as well as justification,' 467 F.2d 969, 972. The Gov-

Page 436

ernment responded that petitioner had, after receiving the proper warnings, freely admitted his guilt to an FBI agent while incarcerated in the Nebraska Penitentiary, and had stated that he intended to demand a speedy trial under Fed.Rule Crim.Proc. 20. The Government claimed that it had postponed prosecution because of petitioner's reference to Rule 20, and consequently, that a large portion of the delay which ensued was attributable to petitioner. The Court of Appeals regarded this explanation as tenuous; it also rejected the lack of staff personnel in the United States Attorney's Office as a justification for the delay. The entire course of events from the time of arrest through the Court of Appeals plainly placed the Government on notice that the speedy trial issue was being preserved by the accused and would be pressed, as indeed...

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588 practice notes
  • State v. Dunns
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • July 7, 1993
    ...L.Ed.2d 101, 117 (1972). Where a defendant has been denied a speedy trial, dismissal is the only adequate remedy. Strunk v. United States, 412 U.S. 434, 440, 93 S.Ct. 2260, 2263, 37 L.Ed.2d 56, 61 (1973). In this case, defendant repeatedly asserted his right to a speedy trial, continuously ......
  • U.S. v. Ray, Docket No. 08-2795-cr.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • August 27, 2009
    ...Court made clear that "dismissal [is] ... the only possible remedy" for a violation of the right protected by the Speedy Trial Clause. 412 U.S. 434, 440, 93 S.Ct. 2260, 37 L.Ed.2d 56 (1973) (internal quotation marks omitted). This remedy, which the Supreme Court recognized was "unsatisfacto......
  • Martinez v. United States, No. 14–5860.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • July 10, 2015
    ...where dismissals with prejudice are the rule. United States v. Young, 657 F.3d 408, 413 (6th Cir.2011) ; see also Strunk v. United States, 412 U.S. 434, 439–40, 93 S.Ct. 2260, 37 L.Ed.2d 56 (1973).I also am not sure what to make of the majority's second response—that, even if Article 7 cove......
  • Myers v. Fresno Cnty. Jail, Case No. 1:20-cv-00381-AWI-EPG
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • October 29, 2020
    ...1615 (2016) ("The sole remedy for a violation of the speedy trial right [is] dismissal of the charges[.]" (citing Strunk v. United States, 412 U.S. 434, 440 (1973); Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 522...
  • Request a trial to view additional results
586 cases
  • State v. Dunns
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court – Appellate Division
    • July 7, 1993
    ...L.Ed.2d 101, 117 (1972). Where a defendant has been denied a speedy trial, dismissal is the only adequate remedy. Strunk v. United States, 412 U.S. 434, 440, 93 S.Ct. 2260, 2263, 37 L.Ed.2d 56, 61 (1973). In this case, defendant repeatedly asserted his right to a speedy trial, continuously ......
  • U.S. v. Ray, Docket No. 08-2795-cr.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Second Circuit
    • August 27, 2009
    ...Court made clear that "dismissal [is] ... the only possible remedy" for a violation of the right protected by the Speedy Trial Clause. 412 U.S. 434, 440, 93 S.Ct. 2260, 37 L.Ed.2d 56 (1973) (internal quotation marks omitted). This remedy, which the Supreme Court recognized was "unsatisfacto......
  • Martinez v. United States, No. 14–5860.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • July 10, 2015
    ...where dismissals with prejudice are the rule. United States v. Young, 657 F.3d 408, 413 (6th Cir.2011) ; see also Strunk v. United States, 412 U.S. 434, 439–40, 93 S.Ct. 2260, 37 L.Ed.2d 56 (1973).I also am not sure what to make of the majority's second response—that, even if Article 7 cove......
  • Myers v. Fresno Cnty. Jail, Case No. 1:20-cv-00381-AWI-EPG
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Eastern District of California
    • October 29, 2020
    ...1615 (2016) ("The sole remedy for a violation of the speedy trial right [is] dismissal of the charges[.]" (citing Strunk v. United States, 412 U.S. 434, 440 (1973); Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 522...
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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