Judges Propose Reducing Steps In Bail Process - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Judges Propose Reducing Steps In Bail Process

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ANNAPOLIS, Md. - 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.
    
The task force is making recommendations to help address a ruling by Maryland's highest court requiring that poor defendants have legal representation at initial bail reviews. It's estimated complying with ruling could cost from $28 million to $30 million.
    
The judges estimate that holding only one hearing would only cost a little more than $6 million.
    
Public defenders warned a House committee on Wednesday about "hidden costs" to that, including more jail time before the initial hearings.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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