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Spin Control

Posts tagged: bail

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.

Today’s audio: Gregoire press conference

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1/7/10 Gregoire press conference

Those reading Thursday’s post (directly below) about Gov. Chris Gregoire’s press conference on tougher bail laws and other changes to combat the rash of police officer shootings might be asking “What else did she have to say?”

Here’s you chance to find out. The complete press conference, captured on digital audio, is above.

No bail for dangerous criminals could be on Nov. ballot

OLYMPIA – Judges should be able to deny bail to criminal suspects who are thought to be “inherently dangerous” to the public, Gov. Chris Gregoire and representatives of the state’s law enforcement system said Wednesday.

Gregoire said she will ask the Legislature to give voters the right this November to pass a constitutional amendment giving judges more flexibility to deny bail. They should not be limited to suspects accused of murder, who can now be held without bail, or someone facing a third-strike felony which could result in a life sentence upon conviction, she said.  

“You may have someone who wants out on bail today who is an absolute harm to the public at large,” Gregoire said at a press conference where she was flanked by leaders of organizations representing sheriffs and police chiefs,  officers and deputies, prosecutors and corrections officials. “I don’t believe it will be overused, misused. I think discretion is the better course.”

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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