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New Mexico Courts

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Court Decisions on Pretrial Release and Detention Reform

Stack v. Boyle

The United States Supreme Court ruled in 1951 that bail set high enough to detain a defendant, rather than to assure the defendant’s appearance at trial, violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition of excessive bail.

U.S. v. Salerno

The United States Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that denial of pretrial release does not violate the U.S. Constitution upon sufficient proof that a defendant presents a threat to public safety dangerousness.

State v. Brown

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in 2014 that setting a defendant’s bail bond solely on the nature of the charged offense violates the Constitution and rules of criminal procedure.

State v. Romero

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that money bonds can cannot lawfully be forfeited by a judge for a defendant’s commission of new crimes while out on bail because state statutes do not authorize forfeiture for anything other than failure to appear at court.

State v. Ericksons

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled in 1987 that a money bond’s lawful purpose is not to protect public safety, but only to provide additional assurance that a released defendant will return to court.

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