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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 66656 Find in a Library
Title: STATEMENT OF CALEB FOOTE ON FEBRUARY 6, 1978 CONCERNING HR 7747 (FROM PRETRIAL RELEASE AND DETENTION, P 131-148, 1978 - SEE NCJ-66651)
Author(s): C FOOTE
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A LEGAL SCHOLAR DEPICTS H.R. 7747 AS AN UNJUSTIFIABLE EXTENTION OF AN UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAW--THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CODE PROVISION ON PRETRIAL DETENTION OF PERSONS CHARGED WITH CERTAIN VIOLENT CRIMES.
Abstract: TESTIFYING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL EFFICIENCY AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA OF THE SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS, A PROFESSOR OF LAW ADDRESSED THE CONSTITUTIONAL AND LEGAL ISSUES INVOLVED IN H.R. 7747 TOGETHER WITH TITLE 23 OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CODE ON PRETRIAL RELEASE OR DETENTION OF DEFENDANTS CHARGED WITH CERTAIN VIOLENT OR DANGEROUS CRIMES. ARGUING THAT PRETRIAL DETENTION DENIES A DEFENDANT THE RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS, THIS WITNESS CALLED FOR SPEEDY TRIALS AS AN ALTERNATIVE. HE FOUND THE WORDING OF THE EIGHTH AMENDMENT AMBIGUOUS, YET FELT ITS SPIRIT GUARANTEES A CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO BAIL FOR NONCAPITAL OFFENSES. THE WITNESS AFFIRMED THAT THE SUPREME COURT VIEWS RIGHT TO BAIL AS A FUNDAMENTAL COMPONENT OF OUR SYSTEM OF LAW, QUOTING A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE'S OPINION TO THE EFFECT THAT, UNLESS THE RIGHT TO BAIL BEFORE TRIAL IS PRESERVED, THE PRESUMPTION OF INNOCENCE WOULD LOSE ITS MEANING; HE ALSO QUOTED SEVERAL LOWER COURT DICTA IN SUPPORT OF THIS VIEW. THE WITNESS ADMITTED, HOWEVER, THAT RIGHT TO BAIL ON APPEAL AFTER CONVICTION AND RIGHT TO BAIL FOR CAPITAL OFFENSES ARE DIFFERENT MATTERS, BUT SUCH CASES DO NOT WEIGH AS AUTHORITY AGAINST A GENERAL CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO PRETRIAL BAIL. NO REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Bail/Financial Release; Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties; District of Columbia; Legislation; Pretrial release; Preventive detention; Right to Due Process
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66656

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