Smith v. Hooey,
393 U.S. 374 (1969)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Smith v. Hooey, 393 U.S. 374 (1969)

Smith v. Hooey

No. 198

Argued December 11, 1968

Decided January 20, 1969

393 U.S. 374


Petitioner was indicted in 1960 on a Texas criminal charge. He was then, and still is, a prisoner in a federal penitentiary. For the next six years, he vainly sought to gain a speedy trial in respondent's court. In 1967, he filed in that court a motion, which has not been acted on, to dismiss the charge for want of prosecution. Petitioner then filed a mandamus petition requesting an order to show cause why the charge should not be dismissed. The Texas Supreme Court denied the petition on the basis of a previous decision acknowledging that a state prisoner would have been entitled to be brought to trial but holding that a different rule applies "when two separate sovereignties are involved," since "[t]he true test should be the power and authority of the state unaided by any waiver, permission or act of grace of any other authority."

Held: Under the Sixth Amendment, as made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth, the State, on petitioner's demand, was required to make a diligent, good faith effort to bring petitioner to trial in respondent's court. Pp. 393 U. S. 377-383.

Vacated and remanded.

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