bail hearings

creative commons

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The Maryland Senate has approved a bill that would make courts rely on a data formula in determining whether or not to jail people after arrest.

The bill passed 37-9 Monday evening, with one senator abstaining. Several senators have predicted that the bill would face serious opposition in the House of Delegates.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Attorney General Douglas Gansler is urging Maryland's top court to overturn its decision that arrestees have a right to counsel at initial bail hearings.

The Daily Record reports that Gansler argues in papers filed Tuesday with the Court of Appeals that the court was wrong to hold that the due-process provision in Maryland's constitution requires defendants to be provided counsel at this pre-trial stage.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Some of Maryland's judges are proposing the state reduce the number of steps in the bail-setting process.

A judiciary task force recommended on Wednesday that the state bundle two separate bail hearings into a single conference before a judge. That would eliminate the role of court commissioners who currently assign initial bail.

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's highest court has again ruled that poor defendants are entitled to have an attorney present at bail hearings.

The Maryland Court of Appeals issued the 4-3 decision on Wednesday.

Last year, lawmakers changed the law to address a previous court ruling, so lawyers would not have to be present at bail reviews. The law was changed due to the estimated cost of $28 million a year it would cost the state to comply.