Judge Rearranges Court Calendar to Ensure Man’s Constitutional Right to Speedy Trial


By Emma Kantor

SACRAMENTO, CA – Richard Collins appeared remotely in Sacramento County Superior Court last week, facing two counts of felony battery and worried about his speedy trial.

Deputy Public Defender Alan Whisenand was present over Zoom to represent Collins, with Deputy District Attorney Mai Trieu.

The court proceeding had been rescheduled because of an expected doctor’s report, but the report had not yet been received.

After learning that neither the court nor PD Whisenand had received the doctor’s report, Collins asked to speak with the judge.

“When I first started my journey with you in my court phases, I asked for a 90-day speedy trial, remember at the beginning?” said Collins, adding, “Then I was suicidal, and you stripped me of my 90-day speedy trial.”

“I remember you, Mr. Collins,” responded Judge Steve White. “Let me talk to my clerk,” he added in an apparent effort to see if Collin’s initial request for a 90-day speedy trial was preserved.

A 1381 demand, per PC section 1381, is a motion to go to trial by someone who has been sentenced to imprisonment for 90 days or more.

Judge White explained “…the issue on this though was the criminal proceedings had been suspended because of the question of whether you were competent to stand trial and we have to resolve that.”

Collins told the judge, “…well, I never went to a competency hearing.”

This led the judge to rule that since Collins did make the speedy trial demand, the court would move up the rescheduled date for the proceeding.

“I am making this go as fast as it can,” Judge White explained.

Collins is now set to return to hear the currently missing doctor’s report on Feb. 25, instead of the originally planned date of April 22.


About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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