- Associated Press - Tuesday, November 1, 2016

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland’s chief District Court Judge has issued “cautionary advice” for judges and commissioners on setting bail.

The Baltimore Sun reports (https://bsun.md/2f6ZJbS ) that Chief Judge John P. Morrissey sent a letter last week instructing judges to release defendants on their own recognizance unless they find that no combination of conditions will ensure the defendant’s appearance and the safety of the alleged victims and others.

Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh wrote Oct. 11 that the state’s system of holding defendants because they can’t afford bail likely would be found unconstitutional.

Maryland rules say bail is intended to ensure a defendant’s appearance in court by imposing a financial burden.

Critics say the cash bail system provides uneven access to freedom, depending on the defendant’s financial means.

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Information from: The Baltimore Sun, https://www.baltimoresun.com

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