Budget Permitting, You Have a Right to a Speedy and Public Trial

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution says:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

However within that amendment lies a caveat, your have a right to a speedy trial only if the state has the budget to prosecute you:

A judge said it was “stunning” that lawyers might not be ready for the case because of unpaid leave imposed by the so-called sequester.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith last month denied charges in New York that he helped plot the 9/11 attacks on the US.

His trial could now be delayed until next year.

The handcuffed defendant listened to Monday’s proceedings through an Arabic interpreter as it emerged that his case could be held up because of budget cuts caused by political gridlock in Washington.

Since sequestration is actually a $110 billion spending increase there is no ground from which to demand mandatory unpaid leave. Furthermore, there is no reason that the mandatory unpaid leave couldn’t be taken after the conclusion of the trial (which is likely to be a show trial with a preordained result). This maneuver is likely a tactic to further delay the trail as the United States government has demonstrated no desire to actually try those accused of being involved with the 9/11 attacks.

Delaying this trial could set an interesting, and extremely dangerous, precedent. As it currently stands an illusion of due process exists. If this trial is allowed to be delays under the guise of budget issues then there is no reason other trials couldn’t be indefinitely delayed under the guise of budget issues. The state can finally jail people without trail, while maintaining the illusion of being constrained by currently established laws, by simply saying the trial will occur when the budget allows and ensuring the budget never allows for it to occur.