Thursday, October 18, 2012

AZMEX I3 18-10-12

AZMEX I3 18 OCT 2012

Note: It was a response from so many being victimized and the perps
just skipping back across the border. There was no downside to just

Voter-approved measure denying bail to illegal immigrants guilty of
serious crimes to be challenged in court Friday
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 5:29 pm
By Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services

A federal appeals court will hear arguments Friday of whether Arizona
voters stepped over the line by denying bail to illegal immigrants
charged with certain crimes.
Cecillia Wang of the American Civil Liberties Union contends that
keeping people locked up before their trial based solely on their
immigration status amounts to punishment. She also said it presumes,
improperly, that someone not in this country legally is automatically
a flight risk without considering other factors.

She wants the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to declare the 2006
voter-approved constitutional amendment invalid.
But attorney Tim Casey said the voters are entitled to conclude that
those accused of certain offenses should not be able to get out on
bail to ensure they will show up in court. For example, he said,
someone who is charged with a felony while already out on bail while
awaiting trial, must remain locked up.
And Casey, who is defending the Maricopa County officials who were
the first to implement the change, said considering the fact that the
person broke the law by being here illegally is no different.
Wang has to take her case to the appellate court because U.S.
District Court Judge Susan Bolton rejected her request to void the law.
Under the terms of Proposition 100, bail is unavailable to those
charged with "serious felony offenses'' if they are in this country
illegally and if "the proof is evidence or the presumption great''
that the person is guilty of the offense charged.
It was crafted by former state Senate President Russell Pearce -- at
the time a state representative -- who argued that anyone who has
crossed the border illegally probably has few ties to this country.
That, he said, makes them at greater risk of fleeing before trial.
Wang said, though, some of Pearce's comments show that the real goal
was to punish illegal immigrants.
Among the comments she cited were that Pearce said wanted to "end
this (federal) system of catch and release'' and that the measure was
one of several to "make sure there are consequences and punishments''
attached to being an illegal immigrant.
Bolton, in her ruling, conceded the measure may have been motivated
by a desire by some to punish people for past crimes, that being
illegal immigration.
"But there is also evidence that legislators considered the issue of
flight risk,'' the judge wrote. Anyway, Bolton said, even if some
lawmakers were pushing the measure to control illegal immigration,
that is not terribly important as it was the voters of Arizona who
had the final say.
Wang said one problem with the measure is it imposes a one-size-fits-
all approach.
She said judges already were able take into account all factors in
considering whether a person is a flight risk, including legal
presence in the country. So if someone were a recent arrival with no
ties to the community, Wang said a judge had the power to deny bail.
"On the other hand, if the judge has someone before them someone who
entered the U.S. on a visa 25 years ago and just never left, and
their entire family is U.S. citizens and has had the same job for 25
years and lived in Phoenix for 25 years ... and he's only charged
with a minor offense, then the judge should be able to make her own
decision about the bail,'' Wang said.
She acknowledged that Proposition 100 applies only to what the
Legislature defined as "serious'' offenses, specifically those that
fall into certain punishment categories. But Wang said that includes
many non-violent crimes, including shoplifting or theft of more than
$3,000, unlawful copying of sound recordings, computer tampering and
certain identity theft offenses. And she said those convicted of many
of these offenses are eligible for probation.
Casey said that's irrelevant to the legal issue of the ability of
voters to decide which crimes are not bailable.
"If you're the victim of a crime, then you have the right to ensure
that the accused attends trial and, if there is in fact a conviction,
that sentencing is served,'' he said.
In her ruling, Bolton also rejected Wang's contention that the
measure violates the Eighth Amendment ban on "excessive bail.''
The judge pointed out that nothing in that federal constitutional
provision requires that bail be available for all offenses. And
Bolton said the Eighth Amendment does not preclude lawmakers -- or
the voters -- from declaring certain offenses non-bailable.

No comments:

Post a Comment