• December 19, 2014
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Queens Chronicle

No delay on Smith trial

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Posted: Thursday, February 6, 2014 10:30 am

State Sen. Malcolm Smith of Jamaica is entitled to a fair speedy trial under the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. He is not entitled to delay the trial over the felony corruption charges he faces until after the voters decide to renominate him or not in a primary.

Yet that’s what’s the senator’s attorney will formally ask a federal judge to do tomorrow. Smith faces conspiracy, wire fraud and extortion charges in a case in which he allegedly sought to run for mayor as a Republican. He was charged almost a year ago, along with five other co-defendants, two of whom have reached plea deals. Naturally Smith doesn’t want the trial to be going on while he’s running for re-election, but it should.

Voters already know Smith is under indictment. Ex-Queens Sen. Shirley Huntley got no special consideration in her corruption case, and neither should her former colleague. We hope the judge denies his request and continues to let the wheels of justice turn at their own pace.

Welcome to the discussion.