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NY woman charged with strangling WWI veteran, 92, in 1983
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - A New York woman has been charged with killing a 92-year-old World War I veteran during a break-in at his Buffalo home more than three decades ago. Erie County prosecutors announced Wednesday that fingerprints and DNA evidence linked Saundra Adams to the slaying of Edmund Schreiber, ...
1 points by The Washington Times | New York World War I Criminal law World War II Prison Magistrate English-language films Bail
Inside job? New York woman robbed while waiting to post $30K bail for son
Police are still searching for two men who tasered and robbed a New York therapist waiting at a jail to post $30,000 bail for her son. Authorities think it might be an inside job. Read Full Article at RT.com
194 points by Russia Today | New York City Crime Manhattan New York Post Bail Criminal law Debut albums Alexander Hamilton
Federal judge weighs temporary halt to Houston's controversial money bail system
The call by two civil rights groups for an immediate fix to Harris County's bail system is now in the hands of a federal judge who will decide whether it violates the U.S. Constitution. 
-1 points by The Houston Chronicle | Bail Prison Law Legal terms Criminal justice Civil and political rights Poverty Magistrate
Slovenian citizens arrested for Main Line pot operation

-2 points by The Philadelphia Inquirer | Bail Chester County Pennsylvania Washington D.C. United States Constitution Drug paraphernalia Paoli Pennsylvania Crime Philadelphia
NYC woman steals $300G in benefits through wife identity scam
A Brooklyn woman pulled an identity switcheroo with her one-time husband’s other wife to bilk the government for decades out of money.
62 points by Daily News | Magistrate Judge Marriage Bail Federal government of the United States Wife United States Constitution Family
Woman released on bail in cliff crash that killed twin
WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) — A woman charged in a cliff crash that killed her twin is out of jail on a $200,000 cash bail.
-2 points by Arizona Daily Star | Bail Magistrate Precipitation Thunderstorm Cloud Tornado Maui County Hawaii Woman
Texas suspect’s $4 billion bond reduced to $150,000
Bell County Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown said she imposed the $4 billion bond as a jab at a "broken" judicial system that too often se...       
143 points by USA Today | Bail Law Bell County Texas Prison Judge Judiciary Associated Press Killeen Texas
Texas justice of the peace says she set $4B bond to send message
Bell County Justice of the Peace Claudia Brown said setting exorbitant bonds force too many people to remain in jail until trial.
186 points by Daily News | Bail Judge Judiciary Law Bench Murder Separation of powers Executive
Johnson tells WLS-AM he expects a kidney transplant in weeks
'God willing in the next couple of weeks I’ll probably be going through the procedure,' Johnson said.
5 points by Chicago Sun-Times | Cook County Illinois Police Bail Donald Trump Crime Illinois United States Chicago
Lawmakers ask Harris County to fire attorney in civil rights case
Two Houston-based lawmakers have called on Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan to dismiss an attorney hired to represent county judges in a federal civil rights lawsuit, after that attorney claimed in a hearing that many people jailed in Harris County were there by choice - not because they could not afford to post bond.
344 points by The Houston Chronicle | Prison Bail Judge Law Counties of the United States Plaintiff U.S. state Lawsuit
Legislation to abolish state cash-bail system is introduced
Mitchell said about 62 percent of people in Cook County Jail can’t afford to pay their bond.
509 points by Chicago Sun-Times | Bail Cook County Illinois Chicago United States Police Coroner Sheriff Illinois
Maryland bail bond industry flooded lawmakers' campaign coffers as state weighs reform
Read about recent bail reform news from Maryland to Hawaii. As Maryland weighs options for reforming the state's bail system, the bail bond industry is boosting campaign contributions to politicians who could mandate changes that would abolish the bail industry, a new report found. Industry donations to lawmakers totaled $87,000 in 2016, significantly more than in previous years, Common Cause Maryland revealed in a January analysis on lobbying. Read more about those findings and other bail reform news below. Cleveland.com is examining bail systems locally and across the country in a series, Justice For All, as Cuyahoga County leaders consider ways to make their bail systems fairer. Maryland: The bail bond industry has already donated $135,250 in the first two years of the current election cycle, putting it on track to surpass the $153,300 donated in the last cycle. Maryland ranks third behind California and Florida for campaign donations by the bail bonds industry. The chairs of committees that oversee industry-related legislation were the largest recipients of the donations. Sen. Bobby Zirkin brought in $78,200 from 2011-2017 and $37,000 in 2014 alone, 11 percent of all the money raised by his campaign that election cycle. House Delegate Joseph Vallario collected $45,500 in six years, and $33,500 in 2014, 13 percent of what he raised that cycle. "Our research on the bail industry demonstrates how private industry spending buys influence," Common Cause wrote. "The bail industry and its key members, use strategic campaign spending to build strategic relationships in Annapolis." The industry has not made the same political investment in Ohio, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, which provided the data for the Common Cause study. It has donated less than $27,000 to politicians here since 1998. Texas: State Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht is calling on the legislature to overhaul a bail system that discriminates against poor defendants and limits judges' abilities to jail risky suspects. "High-risk defendants, a threat to society, are freed," Hecht said in his State of the Judiciary address Wednesday, according to Houston Public Media. "Low-risk defendants sit in jail, a burden on taxpayers. It makes no sense." Hecht's comments come as the state's largest county, Harris, faces a federal lawsuit that alleges inequitable bail practices. Courts in five Texas counties have begun to implement reforms, and now use validated assessment systems to help determine which defendants can safely be released. The Texas Judicial Council recommends the rest of the state follow suit, Hecht said. California: The California insurance commissioner, whose department regulates the bail bond industry, plans to introduce bail reform legislation to the California State Assembly within the next 60 to 90 days, according to CBS San Francisco. "We shouldn't have a system where your detention is based on your income," Commissioner Dave Jones said last week at a hearing on the state's bail system, CBS reports. "There are allegations that's the system we have." Representatives from an advocacy group that is suing San Francisco and Sacramento, alleging unconstitutional bail practices, also testified at the insurance commission hearing. "California operates two systems of justice. One for the rich and one for the poor," said Phil Telfeyan, of Equal Justice Under Law. Hawaii: The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice last month requesting the federal government force the state to address the unconstitutionality of bail and other criminal justice practices. More than 1,000 people, almost 20 percent of the state's total inmate population, sit in Hawaii's jails for months every year awaiting trial, the ACLU reports. The organization calls for reforms that would compel judges to determine release based on defendants' risk of flight or of committing crimes, rather than ability to pay. "Such reforms are not only more just and equitable, but they also reduce overcrowding and the cost of incarceration without endangering public safety," the ACLU wrote in a news release.
-2 points by The Plain Dealer | Bail U.S. state United States Supreme Court of the United States United States Constitution California State Assembly Prison Bail bondsman
Police: Ankle monitor helps tie suspect to house burglary
SLIDELL, La. (AP) - Louisiana police say a bail bond company's ankle monitor helped make a burglary case against a New Orleans man. Police in Slidell, about 30 miles from New Orleans, say the GPS device showed that 56-year-old John Davis spent 16 minutes in and around a house where ...
-2 points by The Washington Times | New Orleans Louisiana Police New Orleans metropolitan area Public relations Hurricane Katrina The Washington Times Bail
Zimbabwe activist pastor denied bail, faces two weeks in jail
HARARE (Reuters) - A Zimbabwean pastor at the heart of a protest movement against President Robert Mugabe was denied bail on Friday, leaving him facing at least two weeks in jail before his next hearing on charges of plotting to overthrow the government.
-2 points by Reuters | Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe Reuters Prison Thomson Reuters United States Constitution Bail Economy of Zimbabwe
Ohio man loses bid at 4th trial in wife's bathtub drowning
CINCINNATI (AP) - A southwest Ohio man imprisoned for the bathtub drowning of his wife has lost his latest attempt to get a fourth trial. A federal magistrate judge denied Ryan Widmer's appeal Thursday, saying reasonable jurists would agree with the conclusion that was reached. Widmer is serving 15 years ...
-2 points by The Washington Times | Magistrate Judge Court Trial Jury Prosecutor Prison Bail
Maryland's highest court will consider cash bail reform
A rule change that would ensure defendants in Maryland are not kept in jail only because they can't afford bail will be considered by the state's highest court. The change — backed by Attorney General Brian Frosh but opposed by key General Assembly lawmakers with oversight over the judiciary —...
-2 points by Baltimore Sun | Law United States Bail Judicial review Judiciary Legislator Judge Trial
Dad of murdered partygoer remembers son, fears bail for killers
The Connecticut man stabbed to death in a savage late-night attack appeared destined for greater things.
273 points by Daily News | New Jersey New York City Bail Jack Lemmon National Film Registry Manhattan High school Jersey City New Jersey
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch urges more bail reform under Trump: Impact 2016: Justice For All
Read about bail reform news from Maryland to Chicago WASHINGTON -- U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch encouraged the nation's legal community this week to continue the Obama administration's bail reform efforts when President-elect Donald Trump takes over. Speaking at the Eighth Annual Judge Thomas A. Flannery Lecture in Washington, Lynch said courts that use fines, fees, court costs and bail as a source of revenue discriminate against poor defendants and criminalize poverty. "As a result, thousands of nonviolent, non-felony defenders languish behind bars, not because they have been found guilty of a crime or pose a flight risk, but simply because they cannot pay," she said. Lynch's comments come as courts in Cuyahoga County and others throughout the country are considering ways to make bail fair to all defendants, regardless of income level. Cleveland.com also has spent the past year investigating inequities in Cuyahoga County bail systems as part of a series, Impact 2016: Justice For All. Lynch touted the Obama administration's reform efforts -- including briefs the Justice Department filed in support of defendants who could not afford bail -- and encouraged her audience to keep up the momentum. "As we near the end of this administration, I am painfully aware of all that remains undone," she said. "Far too many of our fellow Americans still find themselves priced out of justice." Read about other reform efforts here: Maryland judges begin to limit use of bail: Less than two months after Maryland's top justice system officials called for a change in what some say is a discriminatory and unconstitutional bail system, observers say judges have already begun to scale back the use of bail, The Washington Post reports. A Frederick, Maryland-based bail bondsman told The Post his business has dropped nearly 75 percent since District Court Chief Judge John P. Morrissey encouraged judges in October to "impose the least restrictive conditions" possible on defendants who cannot be released without bail. Prosecutors and defense lawyers also agreed that judges are releasing more poor defendants. Morrissey issued the directive in response to an opinion from the state attorney general criticizing discriminatory bail practices that release people with money and detain the poor. Maryland lawmakers were expected to meet Friday to discuss potential changes to the bail system. Study shows Maryland bail system adversely impacts poor, black defendants: A study released this week from the Maryland Public Defender's Office found that the state's bail system routinely targets black defendants and people living in the poorest parts of the state, forcing many of them to spend thousands of dollars on non-refundable fees to bail bondsmen, the Baltimore City Paper reports. Defendants paid $256 million in premiums to corporate bail bondsmen between 2011 and 2015 in exchange for a bail bonds to get themselves or loved ones out of bail. Of that amount, $113 million was paid by defendants in Baltimore alone, and defendants who lived in Baltimore's poorest areas paid the most. The study, titled "The High Cost of Bail: How Maryland's Reliance on Money Bail Jails the Poor and Costs the Community Millions" also found the mean bail amount for black defendants was 45 percent higher than that of white defendants. Black defendants were charged $181 million in premiums to bail agents, more than double the premiums of all other races combined. "The money bail system, regardless of the underlying cause, has the consequence of imposing more onerous financial conditions of release on black defendants," the authors wrote. Bail reform advocate says change 'begins with the bench' in New York Times op-ed: In response to widespread criticism of Maryland's bail system, Zina Makar, co-director of the Pretrial Justice Clinic at the University of Baltimore School of Law, is calling on judges to stop basing bail solely on information from a police department known for its systemic racial bias. The practice compels judges to set bails people can't afford and impedes upon the constitutional right to a trial, Makar wrote in a Thursday opinion piece for The New York Times. "If Baltimore's judges continue to defer to the police's arrest statements and set high bails -- or revert to denying bail to avoid scrutiny -- they will risk perpetuating a racist system," she wrote. Cook County sheriff urges Illinois to stop using bail: The Cook County Sheriff's Office will draft legislation to combat a bail system that is both costly and ineffective, Sheriff Tom Dart said at a Tuesday news conference. "Often, as I'm walking through the jail, I'm talking to people who are no more dangerous to society than you and I," Dart said, according to DNAinfo Chicago. "People are in here because they committed an insignificant crime and can't pay an insignificant bond because they're poor." Dart plans to propose legislation that would require courts to perform extensive background checks and interviews with defendants. Those deemed potentially violent or a flight risk would be held without bail. Everyone else would be let go, some with conditions such as wearing a GPS monitor or attending drug-addiction programs. "At the end of the day, the system itself is not working," Dart said. "We need to change that so it's not a system that cares about how wealthy you are, or whether you have access to drug money or gang money. It's a question of whether you're violent or not."
40 points by The Plain Dealer | Bail Bail bondsman Legal professions Baltimore Bounty hunter Cook County Illinois Sureties Judge
Billionaire’s nephew accused of human trafficking held without bail
A Chinese billionaire’s nephew, who is accused of running a human trafficking ring, was ordered held without bail after the feds sought an emergency court order to prevent him from fleeing the US. Dan Zhong, 46, and a cohort who has already fled to China allegedly illegally forced Chinese nationals to work on private construction...
43 points by New York Post | Judge Magistrate Supreme Court of the United States United States Department of Justice United States Attorney Prosecutor English-language films Bail
Chinese billionaire's nephew denied bail in U.S. forced labor case
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge denied bail on Thursday to a Chinese billionaire's nephew whose construction company prosecutors say forced workers to provide private contracting work in violation of visas limiting their services to China's U.N. mission and other sites.
-2 points by Reuters | Magistrate Judge Federal Bureau of Investigation United States district court Reuters Thomson Reuters Prosecutor Bail
Experts, attorneys keep up push to abolish cash-for-bond system
A group of experts and elected officials gathered Wednesday morning at a Cook Country Board hearing to explain why the cash-bond system is flawed.
166 points by Chicago Sun-Times | Cook County Illinois Judge Criminal justice Bail Law Risk Prison Risk assessment
In Maryland, a fight brewing over cash bail for poor defendants
Even before a rules committee recommends changes, judges are releasing more people without bail, bondsmen say.
117 points by The Washington Post | Bail Bail bondsman Legal professions Judge Judiciary Bounty hunter Separation of powers Lawyer
Woman smashed in Royal Marine’s teeth after seeing him kiss male commando
A raucous night out turned sour when a woman smashed a Royal Marine in the face with a glass, breaking his teeth, after she saw him kissing a male comrade, a court heard. Read Full Article at RT.com
155 points by Russia Today | Prison Royal Marines Bail Black-and-white films Exeter Marine United States Marine Corps Sexual orientation
Cop accused of groping rape victim faces another legal battle
An ex-Special Victims cop accused of groping a rape victim told a West African-born suspect “you have no rights in your country."
213 points by Daily News | Pleading Allegation Cause of action Rape Legal terms English-language films Lawsuit Bail
Ex-soldier who fought ISIS blasts terrorism charges & his ‘harrowing’ arrest
Afghanistan veteran Joe Robinson has spoken out about the “harrowing ordeal” of being arrested and investigated over terrorism allegations after fighting as a volunteer alongside Kurdish militias. Read Full Article at RT.com
70 points by Russia Today | Turkey Kurdish people Iraq Kurdish language Terrorism Bail
Wisc. appeals 'Making a Murderer' decision
Dassey's conviction was overturned Aug. 12 by a judge.         
93 points by Arizona Republic | Law Appeal Court Judge Magistrate United States Habeas corpus Bail
Wisconsin appeals overturning of conviction in 'Making a Murderer' case
Dassey's conviction was overturned Aug. 12 by a judge.       
93 points by USA Today | Law Appeal Court Judge Magistrate United States Habeas corpus Bail
Bail reform is coming to Indiana: Impact 2016: Justice For All
Bail reform news from Nashville to Virginia CLEVELAND, Ohio -- As Cuyahoga County takes steps to build a fairer bail system, dozens of courts across the country are also making changes to prevent bail from discriminating against people who can't afford it. Read about recent bail-reform news below as part of Impact 2016: Justice For All, a cleveland.com series that examines Cuyahoga County's bail system and how it could be more equitable and cost-effective. Indiana Supreme Court orders most defendants to be released without bail: Indiana's high court on Wednesday demanded suspects who are not a flight risk or danger to the community be released without bail, WANE Channel 15 reports. "The new rule will reduce unnecessary, unjust, and expensive pretrial confinement without jeopardizing public safety," Indiana Public Defender Council Executive Larry Landis said. Courts in nine counties will begin using validated assessment tools to decide who can safely be released without bail, and the reforms will expand to all courts in the state on Jan. 1, 2018. Stroke victim jailed for smoking pot dies in jail: A Virginia man who faced a misdemeanor charge for smoking marijuana in his own home died in jail in November after he couldn't afford $100 for bail, the Huffington Post reports. Mark Goodrum, 60, had a long history of health issues and suffered a stroke before he was remanded to the Hampton Roads Regional Jail. He had been there for a month when he died of advanced kidney disease, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia. Bail reform is about victims' rights too, Pennsylvania officials say: Prominent Pennsylvania legal minds are calling on the state to reform broken bail systems that jail low-level, poor defendants while wealthier people convicted of more serious crimes pay their way out. "It's time to . . . stop locking up low-risk individuals who will be worse because they were locked up for being poor, not for being a risk to public safety," Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections John E. Wetzel and Pennsylvania Victim Advocate Jennifer R. Storm wrote in a column for pennlive.com, in which they encouraged a panel that is examining the bail system to move forward with reforms. Storm's support underscores an important, but often overlooked, aspect of bail reform: Not only does it result in more low-level offenders getting out before their trials, but it also gives courts the tools they need to identify people who are potentially dangerous or a flight risk and keep them locked up. Those reforms might have saved the lives of women found dead after courts in Pennsylvania failed to remand their suspected killers, Wetzel and Storm wrote. "Pennsylvania needs to restore the trust broken this past year by the deaths of Stacey, Megan and Tierne," they wrote. "The lives of thousands of others just like them depend upon it."   Non-profit bails out poor people in Nashville: Just City, a criminal justice reform non-profit in Memphis, is reaching over the Davidson County court system to free people accused of low-level crimes who can't afford bail, Nashville Scene reports. They've posted bail for 12 people so far, a tiny fraction of the hundreds -- if not thousands -- of defendants who couldn't afford $500 or less for bail in 2015, according to the column. The average bond for arrestees with one warrant was $2,358; 51.5 percent of them could not post even the 10 percent deposit.
11 points by The Plain Dealer | Prison Court Bail Lawyer Nashville Tennessee The Huffington Post Arianna Huffington Criminal justice