The top federal judge in Arizona has declared a judicial emergency because of the death of her predecessor in a shooting rampage in Tucson.
The declaration by Chief District Judge Rosyln Silver means that part of a federal law requiring a trial to start within 70 days of a defendant’s indictment are temporarily suspended.
The Jan. 8 death of Judge John Roll in a shooting that killed five others and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords compounded a shortage of judges in the state.
Silver’s order only affects defendants indicted between Jan. 20 and Feb. 19, but 9th Circuit federal judges announced a one-year extension on Tuesday.
A defendant’s right to have a trial begin within 70 days is extended to 180 days during the emergency.