Governor Jay Inslee has rightly been heralded as a bold leader in these uncertain times. His actions to protect our communities have been swift, decisive, and affirmatively life-saving in the face of very little federal support or guidance. DUIHeroes applauds Our Governor’s office’s courageous initiatives in the face of great uncertainly. But even amidst these heroic efforts, his proclamation on April 14th contained a glaring overstep that you probably missed.
In Proclamation 20-47, Governor Inslee waives and suspends “statues that limit prosecutors’ and courts’ ability to file and process criminal cases,” until at least May 14. In conjunction with the WA Supreme Court order suspending the speedy trial rule, this development is disastrous for the rights of the accused.
This proclamation means that the government has unlimited time to file criminal charges (possibly even if the statute of limitations expired prior to April 14, 2020) - and the defendants in question have no right to a speedy trial. There is no remedy to address this injustice under the Governor’s order. This is unacceptable and a frightening disservice to one of our justice system’s most basic provisions: the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. Unless proven guilty, you retain all your rights as a citizen. The citizen is guaranteed the right to a speedy trial and protection through due process and the statute of limitations. When we suspend these rights, the citizenry as a whole, whether accused or not, is threatened.
Skilled and tenacious defense lawyers must challenge any prosecutor who attempts to skirt their statutory obligations. And we as a society must remember that a violation of the rights of the accused equates to a violation of the rights of a citizen. Either we live in a society of rules and law, or we don’t. If we do - let’s apply them across the board. The citizenry (yes, even those who’ve been accused of a crime) deserve the same consideration and allowance as does the government in this time of crisis.
If you or a loved one are concerned about the impact of these impartial and unfair violations of your rights, you need to talk to DUIHeroes now. Call us for your FREE CONSULTATION at 425-424-9401.