How could Georgia’s expedited trial law affect Trump’s criminal proceedings?

Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, U.S., July 29, 2023. REUTERS/Lindsay DeDario/File Photo Acquire LICENSE RIGHTS

Aug 24 (Reuters) – A judge has set an October trial date for Kenneth Chesebro, one of the defendants accused of conspiring with former U.S. President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election results, after Chesebro promised a “speedy trial” had demanded.

Here’s a look at Georgia’s expedited trial law and how it could impact the sprawling case.

What is the speedy trial law in Georgia?

Accused felons in Georgia can request that their trial begin in the weeks following arraignment, as long as jurors are available to hear the case. This time frame is determined by the “deadlines” in which each state court hears cases, and in Fulton County the term begins on the first Monday of every other month.

Anyone who is charged during the current term and requests a speedy trial must begin no later than November 3rd. Attorney Kenneth Chesebro, who was indicted last week along with Trump and 17 others, is now due in court on October 23 before that deadline.

If a trial does not begin by that date in November, the defendant must be acquitted of all charges.

The state law goes back to the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution, which guarantees the right to a speedy trial but does not specify a time frame.

Should everyone be tried together in the Trump case?

No. Judge Scott McAfee, who is presiding over the Trump case, said Thursday that only Chesebro’s trial would begin on Oct. 23. The judge has not yet set a trial date for the other defendants.

Trump’s lawyer said Thursday that the former president rejected Willis’ request for an October trial date but did not suggest an alternative. The former president said he would ask to be tried separately from Chesebro.

Would separate proceedings have an impact on the case?

The extensive indictment against 19 people alleges violations of Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law. That means prosecutors will have to prove that each person charged in the indictment was part of an open conspiracy to overturn Trump’s election loss and that witnesses may have to testify in multiple trials.

Melissa Redmon, a law professor at the University of Georgia School of Law, said prosecutors want to try as many defendants together as possible “because the whole point of RICO is to be able to tell the whole story about what everyone did and did.” what.” how their actions were linked.

Reporting by Jacqueline Thomsen in Washington. Editing by Noeleen Walder and Deepa Babington

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Based in Washington, DC, Jacqueline Thomsen covers legal news from politics, the courts and the legal profession. Follow her on Twitter at @jacq_thomsen and email her at