NJ Legislature Agrees to Vote on Bail Overhaul

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -

The Senate having voted, the New Jersey Assembly acceded to Gov. Chris Christie’s request to overhaul bail rules during a rare special session he convened Thursday.

The Assembly Speaker announced a vote is scheduled for Monday — the deadline to pass a constitutional amendment — on two bills that would let judges keep dangerous suspects in jail as they await trial and release low-level suspects so they don’t have to sit for months in jail if they can’t afford to pay bail.

Christie told the stories of people who’d committed violent crimes while out on bail and who’d lost months behind bars before charges against them were dismissed.

“It doesn’t seem possible that today we actually have a system where those who are at the greatest risk for having their lives thrown off course because they do not have the means or the options to make bail sit behind bars and those who pose the greatest danger and the greatest threat to our communities walk free,” he said.