Aug 28, 2016 Justice Department on pretrial jailing- Not okay for mere indigency but okay for drug charges
Thanks to the United States Justice Department for its recent amicus/friend of the court pronouncement (see text here) that the Constitution bars setting pretrial bail that cannot be afforded due to indigency.
Now it is time for the Justice Department/Obama Administration to go one step further on pretrial release/bail, by instructing federal prosecutors to stop being so nonchalant and routine in seeking no bail in federal drug felony cases, under U.S. Code § 18.2-3142(c).
A huge downside of my clients being charged with unlawfully distributing or possessing with intent to distribute Schedule I amd II drugs in federal versus state court, is the foregoing federal statutory presumption against bail for such cases.
I do not expect a president Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump to embrace my advocacy for such changes with bail for federal drug felony defendants. However, Hillary Clinton at least would understand the matter, whereas Trump likely is in the dark on this area of the law.
We need to reverse federal and state laws creating no-bail presumptions for statutorily-designated felonies. Criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and no-bail presumptions have no place in the mix.