Thursday, January 31, 2008

Speed Bump

United States v. Abad, No. 06-0338-cr (2d Cir. January 30, 2008) (Jacobs, Parker, Wesley, CJJ) (per curiam)

Here, the court holds that a failure to make a claim under the Speedy Trial Act in the district court results in a waiver of the issue on appeal. Thus, an unpreserved statutory speedy trial claim cannot be reviewed at all, even for plain error.

Comment: This one’s kind of a no-brainer, since the statute expressly so provides. 18 U.S.C. § 3162(a)(2). The only complication is United States v. Sorrentino, 72 F.3d 294, 297 (2d Cir. 1995), in which the court actually reviewed an unpreserved Speedy Trial Act claim for plain error, even though no motion had been made below. The Abad panel devised a double-barreled solution to the conundrum: first, it blamed the lawyers, noting that no party mentioned § 3162(a)(2) in its briefing in Sorrentino, and then, just to make sure, it overruled Sorrentino.

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