Strunk v. United States

RESPONDENT: United States
LOCATION: Board of Education, School District No. 1

DOCKET NO.: 72-5521
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1972-1975)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

CITATION: 412 US 434 (1973)
ARGUED: Apr 24, 1973
DECIDED: Jun 11, 1973

John R. Wideikis - for petitioner, pro hac vice, by special leave of Court
William Bradford Reynolds - for respondent

Facts of the case

The defendant was accused of the moving abducted car from Wisconsin to Illinois.

The appellant was considered guilty in the committing of the federal level crime and the judgment imposed the five years punishment to him, to serve simultaneously condemnation of one to three years that Strunk served in Nebraska Prison under the state condemnation. Before the proceeding, the District Court declined his demand to deny the federal accusation because he was refused the fast proceeding. The Court of Appeal revised, ruling that the denying of the speedy trial hearing didn`t authorize the “extreme” relief of the release of the detention.

The lawsuit was handed out to the district trial to decrease the sentence for the term of 259 days to offset the suspension that was passed between the return of the charge and appellant`s accusation. The Government authority did not issue the cross-petition to grant certiorari changing the decision on the release of the fast trial.

The case Strunk v. United States was reviewed by the Supreme Court of the USA regarding the issue of the legitimacy of the remedy upheld by the appeal court.

The judges cited Barker v. Wingo, 407 U.S. 514, 522 and upheld that the dismissal (release) must be considered as the valid legal remedy for the deprivation of his guarantee under the Constitution.

Hence, the final judgment stated that the case Strunk v. United States should be reversed and changed considering the issue regarding the guarantee on the speedy proceeding as constitutional under the Sixth Amendment.


Media for Strunk v. United States

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - April 24, 1973 in Strunk v. United States

Warren E. Burger:

We’ll hear arguments next in 72-5521, Strunk against the United States.

Mr. Wideikis, you may proceed when you’re ready.

John R. Wideikis:

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the Court.

This case recently began a serious examination of the right to a speedy trial.

It began with the United States versus Marion where this Court determined when the right to a speedy trial attaches and continue with Barker versus Wingo in which this Court enunciated the balancing formula to be applied in making ad hoc determinations as to whether or not that right has been violated.

This Court today is called upon to determine the sole issue of remedy to be applied upon a finding of a denial of a speedy trial this was the basic issue or the basic question framed in the petition writ of certiorari.

The Government in its brief however, wishes to raise as an additional issue the question whether the Court of Appeals made a proper ad hoc determination in finding that Mr. Strunk in this case had been denied his right to a speedy trial.

And because I don’t know whether this Court wishes to consider re-examination of those findings of the Court of Appeals I will give a broad statement of the facts.

This case began on June 30, 1969 when Clarence Strunk stole the car in Wisconsin and shortly thereafter drove at the Illinois where he abandoned it.

He eventually made his way to the State of Nebraska where on July 24, 1969 he was arrested on a state charge of burglary.

On a plea of guilty to a reduced charge of larceny he received a one to three-year sentence in the Nebraska State Penitentiary.

While in Nebraska custody on September 3, 1969 at his own request he was seen by an FBI agent, at which time he was advised of his rights and he signed a waiver form.

At the time of that interview, he made detailed admissions pertaining to the facts of the crime that he had committed and he further indicated to the FBI agent that it was his intension “To demand a speedy trial under Rule 20.”

On December 17, 1969 the U.S Attorney in the District of Nebraska wrote to the U.S Attorney in the Eastern District of Illinois and in his letter indicated that Mr. Strunk desired to enter a plea under Rule 20 and on the following day the U.S. Attorney of Illinois sent in Nebraska the necessary forms required to process a case under Rule 20.

Warren E. Burger:

How long after the indictment did that occur?

John R. Wideikis:

This is pre-indictment.

Warren E. Burger:

This is pre-indictment.

John R. Wideikis:

This is pre-indictment Mr. Chief Justice Wright and we are raising no issue as to pre-indictment delay but I want to give a broad statement of facts.

On May 26, 1970 after no further word was received from Nebraska the U.S Attorney in Illinois presented this matter to the grand jury and an indictment was returned on that date.

On August 13, 1970, correspondence was receive by the U.S Attorney in the Eastern District of Illinois from his counterpart in Nebraska indicating that Mr. Strunk definitely refused to enter a plea under Rule 20 and that he intended to raise and issue a speedy trial.

As the Court of Appeals put it, thereafter nothing happened until February 9, 1971 when Mr. Strunk was brought to East St. Louis, Illinois on a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum.

And there in the District Court for the Eastern District of Illinois he was arraigned at which time counsel was appointed a plea of not guilty was entered and trial was set for March 29, 1971.

Prior to the trial, Mr. Strunk’s counsel move for a dismissal of the indictment for want of speedy trial.

The motion was denied.

He went to trial as originally scheduled on March 29, 1971.

He was tried by a jury, he did not take the stand and he offered no affirmative defense and he was found guilty.

He received a sentence of five years imprisonment which sentence was to run concurrently with the sentence he was then serving in Nebraska.

An appeal was taken at that point I was appointed counsel for Mr. Strunk.

Our case was argued on May 30, 1972.

On June 22, 1972 the decision in Barker versus Wingo came down.