LOCATION: Vale Residence
DOCKET NO.: 728
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1969-1970)
LOWER COURT: State appellate court
CITATION: 398 US 30 (1970)
ARGUED: Jan 21, 1970
DECIDED: May 25, 1970
Facts of the case
Media for Dickey v. Florida
Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 21, 1970 in Dickey v. Florida
Warren E. Burger:
Number 728, Dickey against Florida will be the next case heard.
Mr. Buchanan, you may proceed whenever you're ready.
John D. Buchanan, Jr.:
May it please the Court.
The nature of this case is one where the petitioner was convicted of a robbery charge, sentence to 10 years in the State Penitentiary.
The trial had been delayed for a period of eight years.
The case was duly appealed to the Florida District Court of Appeals, raising the constitutional question, the Sixth Amendment.
The issue in this case before this Court is whether the petitioner was denied the right to a speedy trial is guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment to the Constitution United States to put this case in proper perspective.
This is a continuation of what developed in Smith v. Hooey.
I would like to discuss the facts first as they're most important.
28th of June, 1960, a robbery occurred in Gadsden County, Florida.
On the 1st of July, 1960, a warrant for the petitioner's arrest was sworn at.
At that time, petitioner was in the custody of the federal authorities on related charges of bank robbery.
The petitioner was in the jurisdiction of Florida from July until September 1960.
In September 1960, petitioner was transferred into the custody of the federal authorities and subsequently sent to Leavenworth Penitentiary.
During the period from July until September 1960, the State of Florida made no effort whatsoever to execute the warrant other than to place it into the hands of the sheriff.
Several years expired and in October of the 29th, 1962, the petitioner filed a written demand with the Circuit Court of Gadsden County requesting that he be brought back to Florida or that the charges be dismissed against him.
The court in an order denied this request stating that there was no authority upon the State of Florida to return petitioner to Florida to stay in trial since he was detained in federal custody, and that he was there because of his own doings.
Petitioner subsequently filed two more written demands.
He filed one in April 1963 and another in March 1968.
After that, the petitioner filed original mandamus proceedings in the Florida Supreme Court, and the Florida Supreme Court in a decision held that either Florida had to return petitioner to stay in trial or else to drop the detainer charges against him.
Petitioner then filed a motion to dismiss in September 1, 1967, requesting that the charges be dropped against him.
There was no action on this motion.
The state in an ex parte order on December 15, 1967, obtained an order from the trial court having jurisdiction which ordered the petitioner back to Florida to stay in trial on January 23, 1968.
Petitioner was brought back into custody on that date.
And on that date, an arraignment was held and he was ordered to trial on that Friday, but over objection of counsel, the trial was continued until January 31, 1968.
On January 30, 1968, the petitioner filed two motions.
The first motion was a content motion for a continuance based upon the fact that he was unable to locate two defense witnesses; one by the name of Dolan who would have cooperated certain testimony that he had been in the place that had been robbed, and another by the name of Strickland who would have testified that on the night that the robbery occurred in Florida that the petitioner was in Waycross, Georgia.
The court granted the motion for continuance, and on the same date, the petitioner filed a motion to quash the information based upon the fact that he had been denied the right of speedy trial.
The court withheld ruling on this motion.
He also filed with the motion an affidavit stating that one of his witnesses had died in 1964.