A defendant has been arrested for the crime of manslaughter. He has been confined at the local jail for more than 6 months waiting for his trial. The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees the accused the right to a speedy and public trial. The speedy trial period for a felony runs for 6 months after the defendant’s first appearance. At the expiration of 6 months, the prosecution asks for more time to prepare their case.Now, it’s up to the judge to decide whether to grant the prosecutor’s request. What should the judge examine when considering the prosecutor’s request? (See: Barker v. Wingo)Now that you’ve considered your Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial, take a look at your Sixth Amendment right to a public trial. Answer the following:Do you believe that the press has a right to be present during trials? Why or why not? Explain your position.The Sixth Amendment right to a public trial can conflict with the First Amendment right to freedom of the press. If this balance is in question, how should the judge respond? Explain.What problems do you foresee, if any, with allowing television cameras inside the courtroom? Explain your position.
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