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Politics & Government

Bail reform bill moves closer to passage

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Joe Irizarry
/
Delaware Public Media

The bail reform bill that recently passed in the Senate now heads to the full House, but not without some debate.

 

The legislation calls for offenders charged with dangerous criminal offenses such as gun offenses, domestic violence, rape, sexual abuse of children and re-offending while out on bond to get cash bail

The bill also makes sure those charged with those crimes forfeit their firearms until their case is resolved.

House Judiciary Chair State Rep. Sean Lynn (D-Dover) doesn’t agree with part of the legislation.

"If you're charged with these specific offenses, we're going to hold you in jail because we're worried that if we release you that you're going to commit further offenses," said Lynn. "What I think and what I'm being informed of is that the data doesn't support that. Of this group of people that have been charged with these offenses, there is no measurable increase in them reoffending."

Fellow Democrat and bill sponsor, State Rep. Valerie Longhurst (D-Bear) defends legislation.

"Those are some serious offenses that should not be out on the street if we have any inclination that they are doing any of these heinous crimes isn't it our responsibility to ensure that they're not back on the streets, maybe reoffending," said Longhurst.

Lynn was still uncomfortable because innocent people could be held and constitutional rights like presumption of innocence and a speedy trial could be violated. 

The bill now heads to the full House for a vote.  If approved, it goes to Gov. Carney.

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