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“One of the most oppressive things a state can do is to take away your freedom and then deny you what’s necessary to win it back,” said Manojar Raju, San Francisco Public Defender, during a rally held on the front steps of San Francisco’s Hall of Justice.

On September 14, 2021, Raju filed a lawsuit against the Superior Court of California and the city of San Francisco. The lawsuit alleges that the San Francisco Superior Court has been routinely violating citizens’ Sixth Amendment right to a speedy trial.

In fact, as of August 30, 2021, there are about 429 people whose pending criminal cases have gone past the statutory deadline for trial. Of those, approximately 178 people are being held in jail, typically locked in their cells for 23 hours a day. The majority of these detainees have been incarcerated for over a month, and some have been incarcerated for over a year. Despite the fact that each detainee is to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, these people are charged with a crime but denied their day in court.