Monday, October 25, 2010

People v. Engram (Cal. Supreme Ct. - Oct. 25, 2010)

The California Supreme Court finally wades into the Riverside County mess.  And hold that, yep, all the lower courts were correct.  You don't have to pull judges out of (inter alia) Probate Court in order to solve the huge backlog of criminal cases.  But it's still the state's fault -- and a continuing one, at that -- that many defendants in criminal cases in Riverside don't get a speedy trial.  So, as a direct result of the state's failure, criminal charges against various defendants are dismissed.

This is one of those rare cases in which the highest tribunal of a state rightly grants review to make clear that the lower courts are right and that an executive-level official (here, the Riverside DA) should stop making contrary claims.  It settles the law.  It puts the onus back where it belongs; here, on the state.  Good for everyone.