State v. Carter

In State v. Carter, 204 W.Va. 491, 513 S.E.2d 718 (1998), the Court addressed the issue of whether the three-term rule was violated when defendant Carter was not tried within three terms of court after he was indicted. Carter was in continuous federal custody until he was secured by the State and brought before the circuit court for arraignment. Defendant Carter was tried during the next term of court following his arraignment. Affording W.Va. Code 62-3-21 its plain meaning, the Court held in the Syllabus of Carter, that: "Pursuant to W.Va.Code 62-3-21 (1959), when an accused is charged with a felony or misdemeanor and arraigned in a court of competent jurisdiction, if three regular terms of court pass without trial after the presentment or indictment, the accused shall be forever discharged from prosecution for the felony or misdemeanor charged unless the failure to try the accused is caused by one of the exceptions enumerated in the statute."