Zedner v. United States, Supreme Court Docket No. 05-5992 (June 5, 2006): A big Congratulations to Ed Zas of this Office, as well as to Barry Leiwant and Sean Hecker, for winning the long and hard-fought appeal in Zedner. In a 9-0 decision by Justice Alito reversing the Second Circuit (click here for our critique of the Circuit’s decision), the Court held that the protections of the Speedy Trial Act cannot be prospectively waived by the defendant and that harmless error analysis is not applicable when a district court makes no findings on the record to support an “interests of justice” exclusion under 18 U.S.C. § 3161(h)(8).
The only remedy for the Speedy Trial violation here, the Court held, is dismissal of the indictment (either with or without prejudice). Let us hope that wiser heads prevail on remand and end this long, sad saga.