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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Excessive Bail

Excessive Bail

The eighth Amendment is where your right to bail at a reasonable rate is set. Having the right to bail and not having it set at a reasonable amount is the same as not having bail. The 8th Amendment as it pertains to bail:
"In England, sheriffs originally determined whether to grant bail to criminal suspects. Since they tended to abuse their power, Parliament passed a statute in 1275 whereby bailable and non-bailable offenses were defined. The King's judges often subverted the provisions of the law. It was held that an individual may be held without bail upon the Sovereign's command. Eventually, the Petition of Right of 1628 argued that the King did not have such authority. Later, technicalities in the law were exploited to keep the accused imprisoned without bail even where the offenses were bailable; such loopholes were for the most part closed by the Habeas Corpus Act 1679. Thereafter, judges were compelled to set bail, but they often required impracticable amounts. Finally, the English Bill of Rights (1689) held that "excessive bail ought not to be required." Nevertheless, the Bill did not determine the distinction between bailable and non-bailable offenses. Thus, the Eighth Amendment has been interpreted to mean that bail may be denied if the charges are sufficiently serious. The Supreme Court has also permitted "preventive" detention without bail. In United States v. Salerno United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739 (1987), the Supreme Court held that the only limitation imposed by the bail clause is that "the government's proposed conditions of release or detention not be 'excessive' in light of the perceived evil." In Stack v. BoyleStack v. Boyle, 342 U.S. 1 (1951), the Supreme Court declared that a bail amount is "excessive" under the Eight Amendment if it were "a figure higher than is reasonably calculated" to ensure the defendant's appearance at trial.1"
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