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Spin Control

WA Lege Day 53: Bail changes on the ballot

OLYMPIA -- Washington voters would be given a chance in November to change the constitution in a way that would allow more suspects to be held without bail before they go to trial.

A resolution passed Thursday by the Senate calls for a vote on a constitutional amendment that expands the "no bail" exception that now exists for people accused of a capital crime.

If voters approve in November, the following language would be added:

"Bail may be denied for offenses punishable by the possibility of life in prison upon a showing by clear and convincing evidence of a propensity for violence that creates a substantial likelihood of danger to the community of an yupersons, subject to such limitations as shall be determined by the Legislature."

The bill is a reaction to the Maurice Clemmons case in which a suspect awaiting trial killed four police officers in Lakewood, Wash. It now goes to the House, which has supported a similar measure.

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The Spokesman-Review's political team keeps a critical eye on local, state and national politics.