Case Caption: Alexander v. Government of the Virgin IslandsCase Number: SCT-CIV-2021-0004Date: 03/27/2024Author: Cabret, Maria M. Citation: 2024 VI 16Summary: In an appeal from the Superior Court’s November 23, 2020, order which denied a petition for writ of habeas corpus, the Superior Court’s order denying the petition is affirmed, because the petitioner’s right to a speedy trial was not violated. After arrest in 2009, defendant was tried on murder-related charges in January and February of 2012. In 2018 he filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus alleging a violation of his speedy trial rights. The Superior Court denied an evidentiary hearing as it did not find a hearing necessary, and denied habeas corpus relief after finding that petitioner failed to show that he was prejudiced by the delays in holding his trial. The focus of this appeal is upon whether the right to a speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment was violated, applying a four-factor balancing test considering (1) the length of the delay; (2) the reason for the delay; (3) the defendant's assertion of his rights; and (4) and prejudice to the defendant. Analyzing each of these factors de novo, but reviewing the Superior Court's findings of fact only for clear error, the Superior Court correctly concluded that petitioner’s Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial was not violated. The delay of more than 27 months between his arrest and trial was presumptively prejudicial and warranted further analysis. Although the prosecution was responsible for many of the delays, none of the delays were deliberate or intended to hamper petitioner’s defense. Moreover, he did not assert his right to a speedy trial, and he failed to show that the 27-month delay prejudiced him. For these reasons, the Superior Court’s order denying habeas relief is affirmed.Attachment: Open Document or Opinion