In Smith v. Hooey, the United States Supreme Court took another step in guaranteeing a prisoner his constitutional right to a fair and speedy trial. The Court held that a jurisdiction which has caused a detainer request to be filed with a second incarcerating jurisdiction, whether it be state or federal, must upon request by the prisoner make a good faith attempt to have the prisoner surrendered for trial upon the complaint from which the detainer arose. The Court cited Klopfer v. North Carolina as authority for enforcement of this sixth amendment right against states. In Klopfer, the Court held that by virtue of the fourteenth amendment, the sixth amendment right to a speedy trial is enforceable against the states as one of the most basic rights preserved by our Constitution.
Michael F. Ward,
Constitutional Law: Sixth Amendment Guarantee of the Right to a Speedy Trial Extended to Convicts with a Detainer Request Pending from Another Jurisdiction: Smith v. Hooey, 393 U.S. 374 (1969),
49 Neb. L. Rev. 166
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol49/iss1/11