Defense lawyers challenge bail law

Posted: Friday, July 02, 2010

ANCHORAGE - Alaska criminal defense lawyers are challenging a new state law that would curtail the rights of defendants to be allowed out on bail.

The Anchorage Daily News reports that the American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska filed a lawsuit against the state Wednesday on behalf of the lawyers.

The lawsuit seeks a court order putting on hold a law that takes effect Thursday. The law would require defendants to demonstrate to a judge that certain bail conditions would ensure appearances in court and community safety. Defendants who can't prove that would be held without bail until trial.

Previously, the burden of proof has been on the prosecutor to show that a defendant needed to be behind bars until trial.

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