On April 29, 2013, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in Boyer v. Louisiana. The question in this case was whether, when a criminal death penalty trial is delayed due to the state’s failure to fund defense counsel, that delay should count against against the state in a subsequent “speedy trial” analysis.
The case was dismissed as improvidently granted. Justice Alito filed a concurring opinion, which was joined by Justices Scalia and Thomas, arguing that the factual record demonstrated most of the delay at issue was not actually caused by the state breakdown in funding. Justice Sotomayor filed a dissent, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, and Kagan, that would have reached the merits, held the state responsible for the delay, and remanded the case for further proceedings.
To discuss the case, we have Amy Moore, who is anAssociate Professor of Law at Belmont University College of Law.