Betterman v. Montana

Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner.

Brief filed: 01/26/2016


Betterman v. Montana

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 14-1457

Prior Decision

Decision below State v. Betterman, 378 Mont. 182 (Feb. 10, 2015).


Guilt-determination and sentencing historically were inseparable and speedy trial protections apply to both. The interests set forth in Barker require protection at sentencing. Extended pre-sentence incarceration is oppressive. Delays in the sentencing phases of a trial exacerbate anxiety and concern. Delays in the sentencing phase of trial impair defendants' abilities to exercise their legal rights with the courts. The Due Process Clause insufficiently protects the rights guaranteed by the speedy trial provision of the Sixth Amendment.

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Mark E. Haddad, Collin P. Wedel, and Rachel R. Goldberg, Sidley Austin LLP, Los Angeles, CA; Jeffrey L. Fisher, NACDL, Stanford, CA.