Proposed amendment on denying bail in Del. fails

By Randall Chase, Associated Press 8:56pm, June 26, 2013
The state Senate has rejected a proposed constitutional amendment allowing bail to be denied for defendants charged with non-capital crimes in Delaware.

The amendment, backed by Attorney General Beau Biden, received 12 votes Wednesday, short of the 14 it needed under the required two-thirds majority.

Under the state constitution, bail can be denied for capital offenses, which under current law means only 1st-degree murder.

Supporters of the amendment argued that judges should be able to deny bail for defendants charged with other violent felonies if they believe pretrial detention is the only way to reasonably ensure public safety.

Opponents expressed concern about the vagueness of the amendment and said judges already can set bail high enough to keep people considered a danger to the public in custody awaiting trial.

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