Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Study Finds Defendants Released on Unsecured Bonds Pose No Greater Threat to Public Safety and Appear in Court as Regularly as Those Who Post Secure Bonds

For the first time ever, a study compares pretrial release outcomes by money bond type, controlling for the statistical risk level of defendants released pretrial.

Pretrial Justice Institute compared unsecured bonds (no money upfront, but a promise to pay the full amount if one fails to appear) with secured bonds (whether cash or surety, one must pay upfront in order to be released) in 1,919 cases in Colorado.

Some key findings include:
  • Unsecured bonds are as effective at achieving public safety as secured bonds.
  • Unsecured bonds are as effective at achieving court appearance as secured bonds.
  • Higher dollar amounts of secured bonds are associated with more pretrial jail bed use but not increased court appearance rates.
  • Unsecured bonds use far fewer jail beds than do secured bonds because more releasable defendants leave jail (94% unsecured versus 61% secured), and leave sooner.
  • Unsecured bonds are as effective as secured bonds at preventing defendants who fail to appear in court from remaining at-large on a warrant.
Full Report  Unsecured Bonds: The As Effective And Most Efficient Pretrial Release Option
Fact Sheet    Unsecured Bonds, The As Effective And Most Efficient Pretrial

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Louisville Law Review Commemorating Gideon

The University of Louisville Law Review  has released a series of six articles commemorating the 50th anniversary of the landmark Gideon v. Wainwright decision.  These pieces were written in connection with this summer's program at the Kentucky Bar Association's Annual Convention, “The Gideon Decision: Constitutional Mandate or Empty Promise? Does the 50th Anniversary  of the U.S. Supreme Court Decision Deserve a Celebration?”  

Gideon v. Wainwright 50th Anniversary Series

Cedric Merlin Powell
52 U. Louisville L. Rev. Online 1 - 6 (2013).

Stephen B. Bright
52 U. Louisville L. Rev. Online 7 - 21 (2013).

William J. Leahy
52 U. Louisville L. Rev. Online 22 - 31 (2013).

Stephen F. Hanlon
52 U. Louisville L. Rev. Online 32 - 40 (2013).

Amy Bach
52 U. Louisville L. Rev. Online 41 - 45 (2013).

Robert C. Ewald, Daniel T. Goyette, Erwin W. Lewis, Edward C. Monahan
52 U. Louisville L. Rev. Online 46 - 58 (2013).

Monday, October 7, 2013

KYSC - Melton - Court Costs and Public Defender Fees after incarceration

John Melton v. Commonwealth, 22-SC-488-MR (rendered 9/26/2013) (Not to be published)

The trial court erred in attempting to retain jurisdiction until Mr. Melton was released from incarceration in order to determine whether to impose court costs and partial public defender fees. The Kentucky Supreme Court held there is no statutory basis for a court to exercise jurisdiction beyond the end of proceedings (i.e., final sentencing) in order to determine the appropriateness of imposing court costs and a partial public defender fee. Robert Yang represented Mr. Melton on appeal.

Contributed by Karen Maurer 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Corrections reform legislation continues to yield positive results for the Commonwealth

From the Official Blog of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce 

Supporters of Kentucky’s 2011 House Bill 463, a landmark corrections reform bill, gathered Wednesday in the Capitol Rotunda to hear the latest evidence of its continued success. Chamber President & CEO Dave Adkisson joined Rep. John Tilley, Sen. Whitney Westerfield and various members of the law enforcement community to voice support for the reform’s impact.

Complete Post