Thursday, July 11, 2019

No Bail is Excessive Bail, Even for Jeffrey Epstein

The US Constitution's Eighth Amendment forbids "excessive bail." What does that mean? According to the Supreme Court of the United States (in Stack v. Boyle) it means "[b]ail set before trial at a figure higher than an amount reasonably calculated to fulfill the purpose of assuring the presence of the defendant."

Jeffrey Epstein is a very wealthy defendant, so what's "excessive" by that definition?

Per CNN:

Lawyers for Jeffrey Epstein proposed a bail package on Thursday that would allow the multimillionaire alleged sex trafficker to remain out of jail pending trial and live instead in home detention at his Upper East Side mansion, one of the largest residences in Manhattan and valued at $77 million, according to court documents.

The arrangement ... also would put Epstein under electronic monitoring by GPS, require him to post a "substantial" personal recognizance bond secured by his Manhattan home, and deregister and ground his private jet.


Along with home detention, Epstein's lawyers propose that he consent to US extradition from any country, require anyone who enters his New York home aside from his attorneys to have prior approval from federal authorities and have a live-in court-appointed trustee who would be required to report violations of his bail conditions.

Prosecutors' counter-proposal? No bail.

Constitution says: Nope, that would be excessive.

There is some set of conditions which could be reasonably calculated (nothing is 100%, of course) to ensure Epstein's appearance at trial.

If the prosecutors don't think the conditions his attorneys have proposed constitute such a set, their obligation is to propose a set of conditions that does, not just demand that the Supreme Law of the Land be thrown out the window.

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