NYLJ: In Rejecting Cash Bail Offer, Judge Blasts Statute

What statute you say? 520.30(1):

Following the posting of a bail and the justifying affidavit or affidavits or the posting of cash bail, the court may conduct an inquiry for the purpose of determining the reliability of the obligors or person posting cash bail, the value and sufficiency of any security offered, and whether any feature of the undertaking contravenes public policy; provided that before undertaking an inquiry, of a person posting cash bail the court, after application of the district attorney, must have had reasonable cause to believe that the person posting cash bail is not in rightful possession of money posted as cash bail or that such money constitutes the fruits of criminal or unlawful conduct.

The New York Law Journal Reported that:

A $50,000 cash bail proffer made on behalf of a Chinese national charged with sex trafficking was rejected by a judge who said the defendant was a “poster boy for why the statute governing cash bail is flawed.”

The lawyer for Shi Shen Yu argued that Criminal Procedure Law §520.10 (1) requires a court to accept cash bail when the defendant can show the surety is in legitimate possession of the bail money, and that the money is not the fruit of illegal activity.

Acting Supreme Court Justice Mark Dwyer described the provision, enacted in 1984 to permit cash bail, as “absurd.” Such limits are not imposed in cases where a bail bond is secured, Dwyer said.

“If anything, more careful inquiries are appropriate in cash bail cases, where a professional is not available to assist in achieving the defendant’s return,” Dwyer wrote Tuesday in People v. Shi Shen Yu, 1266/2015.

Read more:  New York Law Journal


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