In the Georgia election interference RICO trial, the fourth of the nineteen defendants has now pled guilty. Two of them were due to stand trial and this was holding up the trial of the others. Now that they have pled guilty, is there a legal reason why the trial for the other 15 can't be scheduled asap? The court time that was booked is now free but there seems to be no discussion of scheduling the trial of the others now.
Without delving too deeply, there are all manner of things that go into scheduling a trial, not just the availability of the court to hear the case.
For example, criminal defense counsel need to be available and may schedule other trials for different clients at a time that was previously available for a trial of their clients in this case.
Preparing for a trial takes time as well, and once a date is set, both the prosecution and the defense and witnesses who are anticipated to testify all schedule their own preparations and affairs around the date that is in place.
Also, it is routine for courts to schedule more than one case at the same time, since many of them are likely to be resolved by plea bargains between the date that the trial is scheduled and date of the trial. There could very well be other unrelated trials that are "second set" or "third set" behind these trials on that date.
Apart from a defendant exercising their right to a speedy trial, there's very little pressure to make trials sooner. There are a lot of pretrial motions and preparation that cause trials to be scheduled far after an indictment.
One potential issue is if there are motions and/or appeals to higher courts that would impact the circuit court.
The court has said that they don't want to start the trial only to have a Federal judge grant Meadows's motion to be moved to Federal court. The court said that could take upwards of 6 months.
As of 2023-09-06, the judge is expecting a 6 month delay. That delay is completely independent of the speedy trial defendants. That the speedy trial defendants have both taken pleas thereby freeing up the need to have that trial, in no way impacts the aforementioned delay.
Potentially, if Meadows pleas then the judge may be able to schedule the trial but it wouldn't be immediate, it would just reduce uncertainty.