Justice is slow, but steady

Published 7:13 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2016

We often report on arrests, indictments, hearings, trials and sentences. Readers looking through our recent stories might have noticed a trend. In many cases, defendants do not face justice for months, if not years, after their arrests.

The first words to the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, in the Bill of Rights, are, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury…” This is where we get the concept of a “fair and speedy trial.”

We have a feeling the Founding Fathers never expected the exceedingly high number of cases clogging our courts. As such, it can take a long time before defendants come to trial.

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In many cases, preliminary trial dates are set and then continued for various reasons, ranging from attorneys needing to be assigned to witnesses not being available.

This is frustrating to both victims and defendants. Victims do not want the pain and suffering they feel from lingering and want justice for the defendant’s alleged crimes. Just as important, the accused should not linger in jail — or even out on bond — for what feels like forever waiting to learn their fate.

Not every defendant is guilty. How long should they wait to be vindicated?

Even so, it is frustrating to see serious cases get moved and moved again as if never to be resolved.

The good news is, they are, eventually, resolved.

Justice is slow, but steady. It is patient, as we should be, too.