An Illinois defendant facing state charges is entitled to a speedy trial within 120/160 days depending if they are out in jail or out of jail on bail pending trial. The Illinois Supreme Court entered an admininstrative order at the beginning of the pandemic waiving a defendant's speedy trial right. Whether it was constitutional or not is not the point of this blog. However, now that defendants' rights are restored in this regard, trials may accure faster than the court can accomodate. In Madison County we are relegated to only one jury trial in the entire Criminal Justice Building per week. We have three trial courtrooms that normally can try three separate matters in a week. Now that the speedy trial rights have begun it will stress the system. If a person is not tried within the limit their case must be dismissed. There are quite a few ways to toll the limits such a pending motion or a motion to continue. But if a defendant truly wants a trial it is wise for that person to announce ready for trial and not agree to a continuance.
If quite a few defendants do just this it will result in the State having to make decisions whether to offer a better resolution to the case or to devote its time to conducting the jury trial. I believe if defendants begin to announce it will result in better results for all defendants in this county.