May 19, 2005
How Long Can The Government Take to Indict?
In our Nov. 17th post here, we spoke of the indictment of former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell of Atlanta, Georgia. In this prior post we also spoke of a defense motion to dismiss two racketeering counts because the prosecution was particularly slow in bringing this indictment. And now approximately six months later a hearing was held on this motion.
It seems the government took a long time in bringing this indictment, and a key witness for the defense is no longer alive. This is an interesting issue that can arise in white collar cases, cases that often take longer to investigate then cases involving street crimes.
And the issue the magistrate judge will need to decide here is whether this particular delay deprives the accused of the right to present his defense. Did this delay place former Mayor Bill Campbell at a disadvantage? No one wants to be indicted, but if its going to happen, it should be done in a timely fashion. For more details on this issue see Bill Rankin's story here, in the Atlanta Jrl Const.
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