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Rep. Skulczyck Worried “Justice Reform” Would Put Residents at Risk

This article was published on: 06/5/17 10:18 PM by Mike Minarsky

State Representative Kevin Skulczyck (R-45) voted against legislation that would waive bonds for certain set of criminal defendants.

The legislation, HB-7044, An Act Concerning Pretrial Justice Reform, would prohibit courts from imposing bonds for certain crimes and limits the circumstances under which the courts may impose financial conditions of release for certain offenses.

“I applaud all of the bi-partisan hard-work that went into this bill, it was well intended, but as someone who spent 20 years working as a correctional officer I believe this bill removes the ability for judges to determine who should and shouldn’t receive bail,” Rep. Skulczyck said.

The bill would make the following changes to pre-trial detention laws:

  • Limit the circumstances a court can impose financial conditions for release related to certain criminal offenses.
  • Shortening bail review hearing for misdemeanor offenses from 30 days 14 days.
  • Barring courts from prohibiting a bond from being posted by surety for certain crimes.
  • Requiring the court at a bail review to remove the financial conditions of a person’s release unless the court makes certain findings.

Some of the current misdemeanor crimes that could result in no bail include:

  • Assault of an elderly person
  • 3rd Degree Strangulation
  • 1st Degree Rioting
  • Inciting a Riot
  • 2nd Degree Stalking
  • 4th Degree Sexual Assault

 

Proponents of the bill point to possible savings as reason for its passage. The bill passed in the House 88-62 and will now move onto the Sentate for future debate.

 

 

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