Saturday, April 12, 2008

A Snail's Pace... or Just the Norm?

Both Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes have been sitting in jail for almost a year now... yet... to date there's been no trial. Some will exclaim that it's a normal process of the judicial system, while others will surely claim that it's unfair, or even worse... a conspiracy. Let's take a look at the 'average time it takes to go to trial' for a capital case, then you can decide:

Recent Capital Cases in Luzerne County:

  • William Roland: Arrest: 08/17/2006; Trial: 09/19/2007
  • Joseph Gacha: Arrest: 06/02/2004; Trial: 09/05/2006
  • Larry Tooley: Arrest: 11/11/2002; Trial: 09/09/2003
  • Henry Stubbs: Arrest: 02/26/2002; Trial: 04/23/2003

With the excepton of Joseph Gacha (many twists and turns before trial - sound familiar?), the average time between arrest and trial was just a little over a year. Harlow and Joe were arrested in Virginia on May 15, 2007... they chose to fight extradition... and weren't even brought into Pennsylvania's custody until July 17, 2007. (There's 2 months wasted already).

While the original trial date (March 24, 2008) has come and gone... based on what appears to be the average time from arrest to trial, this case actually seems to still be 'normal'. In some States the average time from arrest to disposition can be as high as 26 months: New York (Full Capital Trials Since 9/1/95).

Let's hope it doesn't take that long.