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Communications Director, ACLU of Maine
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April 12, 2024

LD 1771 would uphold Mainers’ Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial, joining 41 states and the federal government.

AUGUSTA – The ACLU of Maine applauds the Maine House of Representatives for passing LD 1771 today in a 76-63 vote. The bill would implement specific timelines to ensure criminal cases proceed fairly and efficiently, just as the Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution demands.

“When the government chooses to charge a person with a crime, it is the government’s responsibility to provide a fair legal process, including a speedy trial,” said ACLU of Maine Policy Director Meagan Sway. “The scales of justice tip against the people when they are denied a speedy trial. The right to a speedy trial is critical to the presumption of innocence and the fair administration of justice. We call on members of the Senate to join their House colleagues by passing LD 1771.”

The ACLU of Maine previously testified to the Judiciary Committee that some people in Maine are “waiting years for their day in court: that’s years before people have a chance to defend their innocence, and years before victims of crimes can see that justice is being done. When criminal trials are unreasonably delayed, everyone loses.”

ACLU of Maine Legal Director Carol Garvan delivered testimony to the Joint Standing Committee on Judiciary on May 10, 2023, during the First Regular Session of the 131st Legislature. A public hearing for this bill has not yet happened in 2024.