Is there a right to a speedy appeal in Georgia?
In some cases, we see delays of several years between the date of conviction and the docketing of an appeal in the Court of Appeals or Georgia Supreme Court. Many clients rightfully ask if there is any basis to demand a favorable judgment based on the delay.
And as the Supreme Court of Georgia has explained, although there is no Sixth Amendment right to a speedy appeal, “due process concepts necessarily become implicated when substantial delays are experienced during the criminal appellate process.” Accordingly, the analytical framework created by the four speedy-trial factors in Barker v. Wingo provides “a familiar, thorough and practical means of assessing the fairness and prejudice issues that arise in cases involving the delayed resolution of direct appeals from judgments entered on criminal convictions in which the death penalty was not imposed.”
The four Barker factors—the length of the delay, the reason for the delay, the defendant’s assertion of the right, and the prejudice to the defendant—are evaluated by trial courts in “a difficult and sensitive balancing process.” And we review a trial court’s conclusion after assessing these factors for an abuse of discretion. But here, we are precluded from considering this enumeration of error because, as demonstrated by the record that is before this Court, Chernowski failed to raise this issue below and may not raise it for the first time on appeal.
Chernowski v. State, No. A14A2151, 2015 WL 570691, at *3 (Ga. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2015).
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