Constitutional amendment on bail stalls

By Randall Chase, Associated Press 6:11pm, May 15, 2013
A proposed amendment to Delaware's constitution allowing bail to be denied for defendants charged with non-capital crimes has stalled in a Senate committee.

The proposed amendment, backed by Attorney General Beau Biden, is aimed at stopping violent offenders from getting released on bail, only to be charged with committing more violent crimes after being put back on the street.

Currently, bail can be denied only for first-degree murder. Supporters of the constitutional amendment say judges should be able to deny bail for other felony defendants if they believe pretrial detention is the only way to reasonably ensure the safety of the public.

But some senators are uncomfortable with amending Delaware's constitution without specifying which crimes other than murder would subject a criminal defendant to being held without bail awaiting trial.

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