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Decisions in Criminal Cases Involving Claims of Ex Post Facto and Speedy Trial Act Violations

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By FindLaw Staff on March 22, 2010 2:08 PM

The Sixth Circuit decided two criminal cases involving challenges to the Speedy Trial Act violation and an order requiring a defendant released on parole to provide DNA samples.

In US v. Turner, No. 07-3481, the court faced a challenge to a defendant's convictions for seven drug and gun-related crimes.  Defendant argued that his indictment on two of seven counts took longer than allowed under the Speedy Trial Act, as he was arrested on June 1, 2005 but not indicted until January 18, 2006.  In agreeing with the defendant, the court held that the convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm and being a felon in possession of ammunition must be reversed as defendant has established a violation of the Speedy Trial Act and the government has not shown that any exclusion under the Act applies.  However, the remainder of defendant's convictions are affirmed and on remand, the district court may determine whether to dismiss the two charges at issue with or without prejudice.

In US v. Coccia, No. 08-1915, the court faced a challenge to the district court's judgment that defendant continue his supervised release and provide a DNA sample for violating a term of his supervised release.  Other than arguing that the district court erred in finding that he had violated the terms of his supervised release, the defendant's main argument was that requiring to provide DNA samples violated the Ex Post Facto Clause.  In rejecting both of defendant's contentions, the court held that there was sufficient evidence on the record showing that defendant violated terms of his release, and the DNA Act is not so punitive in effect as to override its regulatory purpose. 

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