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> 8th Amendment And Excessive Bail
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scottish2 
Posted: 27-Dec-2003, 07:35 AM
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Just what is excessive bail?

QUOTE (8th amendment)
Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


Not sure how many of you have been following the Michael Jackson arrest but even if you haven't you may have heard he's out on 3 million dollars bail. Now I realize this is just a drop in the bucket of Michael's fortune but when is the bail excessive? For instance lets say you or I were chanrge with the same crime Michaels been accused of how much might our bail be? And why is Michael's not the same amount? 10-1 our bail would not be as much but yet it's the same supposed crime. Right?

And what happens to the bail money should you be found innocent? Not sure here as I have never been arrested but does the money come back? If not why not? If you're found innocent you should have never been arresed in the first place and been forced to pay bail for a crime you didn't commit. Right? So what happens to the bail money? and why is it excessive for you or I to pay 3 Million yet not Michael his fortune put to the side for a minute why is 3 mil excessive for one and not the other? I mean he's being very cooperative with the police turning himself in as well as his passport. He's not fighting this in any way short of fighting the charge.
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High Plains Drifter 
Posted: 27-Dec-2003, 12:48 PM
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Bail money is returned if you are found innocent or or guilty. the purpose of bail is to ensure that you do appear in court at the specified time, and it is usually based upon ones ability to pay. Your bail would probably not be set at three million for the same charges as those faced by MJ unless you are in the same income range because that would be unreasonable. Bail is based upon your resources and your flight risk.


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scottish2 
Posted: 27-Dec-2003, 01:03 PM
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MJ's flight risk is nearly 0. He returned to face the charges and wants this settled. It's not like he could just blend into the background and disappear. Not with the ugly mug of his. MJ needs to be the poster children for plastic surgury gone amuck.

Ok but the question still remains what is excessive. If it's excessive for us then it should be excessive for him as well otherwise he is getting the raw end of the deal and in my view not getting the protections of the 8th amendment.
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High Plains Drifter 
Posted: 27-Dec-2003, 04:42 PM
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I must disagree that MJ poses a 0 flight risk. It may not be a high risk but if he decided to go, with his money, he could disappear easily. Nearly everybody on this planet knows what Osama Bin Ladin looks like but we can't find him. If you have enough influence or money you can hide for a very long time. I'm not saying that Jackson would but I don't know that he wouldn't and the amount of bail has to have some value for the accused as an incentive not to run. That's what bail is. It is not a fine or anything that the court keeps unless the accused fails to appear. Three million to him probably has no more value to him than a thousand dollars would to me. The man is facing serious charges, he isn't accused of jaywalking, he may be locked up for a very long time, and would you want to be MJ put in with the general population of San Quentin. I hope for his sake if he is convicted, they don't send him there. We know what the media says about the case but we have no idea how strong a case the DA has and at this point I doubt if Jackson does either. Maybe the DA wants to run against Arnold next time around and wants to get his name in front of the people of California or maybe he has an open and shut case that will only drag on because Jackson has the resources to do it.

I don't know how much money MJ has left, he hasn't sold as many of recordings or concert tickets lately but he probably isn't suffering tremendous hardship with a three million dollar bail. That is the benchmark for what is a reasonable bail, does it cause undo suffering. In my case it would, in this case I don't believe it does.
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andylucy 
Posted: 27-Dec-2003, 07:14 PM
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In Kentucky, bond release bond money doesn't necessarily have to be returned if the subject shows up at court. If a warrant is issued for offenses such as Failure to Pay Fines or Cold Checks, the judge can order a "No Surety" bond. This means that when the perp gets hooked up, the money goes to ensure that his fines and restitution are paid. Of course, this had cut down on people putting up bond money, when they know that they won't be getting their money back. But it does ensure that the perp pays up.

In Kentucky, we have a Uniform Schedule of Bail for violations and misdemeanors. It sets forth minimum and maximum anounts for any non-felony crime. For felonies, it at the judge's discretion. He must take into account everything that will bear on whether or not the subject will show up for trial. Unless it is a particularly heinous crime, the bond will be set where the perp can make bond. For violent crimes, the judge will usually err on the side of caution, setting the bond higher to ensure that the person will show up for court.

What is excessive? It is a judgement call on the judge's part. Of course, if the perp feels that his bond is excessive, he can appeal the bond decision, whether it be to Circuit Court or the Court of Appeals. I have seen a few bonds overturned on appeal, but not many. The judges around here are actually pretty fair, our district judge being something of a Libertarian. I guess we are lucky. biggrin.gif

Just my tuppence.

Andy


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scottish2 
Posted: 28-Dec-2003, 08:26 AM
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I say he is 0 flight risk because not only did he turn in his passport, but the court is also allowing him to follow through on an international showing he was to appear at I think it was some where in Asia. Now tell me if he was a flight risk why would the court return his passport to him and let him leave the country?

As for the osama comparison I highly doubt MJ will be hiding out in caves if he choses to run.

Ok that's all I can write on this this morning as have to clear the line as the Gateway supervisors suppose to call sometime today but not sure when so better clear the hone line in case so I can get my laptop back up as this IBM while great in the day is a dinosaur now and god aweful slow.
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