Saturday, June 7, 2014

NJ Senate Committee to mull change to bail guarantee.

Article I, Section 11 of the New Jersey Constitution currently guarantees that those arrested for crimes other than murder are entitled to be released on bail.

On Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 10 a.m., the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee will consider Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 113 which seeks a constitutional amendment permitting courts to deny bail for certain reasons.

If SCR 113 and ACR 163, an identical resolution introduced in the New Jersey General Assembly, passes both legislative houses, voters will decide whether to permit the courts to deny bail if the court finds that no amount of monetary bail or non-monetary conditions of pretrial release would:

1. reasonably prevent the defendant from fleeing, or

2. protect the public's safety or prevent the defendant from obstructing or attempting to obstruct the criminal justice process.

SCR 113's primary sponsor is Senator Donald Norcoss (D-5).  The companion Assembly measure is sponsored by Vincent Mazzo (D-2), Timothy J. Eustace (D-38) and Bob Andrzejczak (D-1).

Anyone who wishes may testify in favor or in opposition to the measure by attending the Committee's hearing  in Committee Room 10, 3rd Floor, State House Annex, Trenton, NJ.