New Jersey’s Bail Reform Leads to Division Among Attorneys

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -

Attorneys once aligned in their shared support of reforming New Jersey’s bail system are now battling over the specifics of the newly implemented changes.

NJ.com reports that the state Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday regarding a stipulation of the overhaul that empowers judges to decide whether a defendant should be locked up until trial.

The changes, which virtually eliminated New Jersey’s prior cash bail system, were enacted as a measure to keep violent offenders detained until trial while providing poor, low-level defendants the opportunity to be freed. In the previous system, these offenders often remained behind bars because they couldn’t afford bail.

Under the new system, the defense is entitled access to the prosecution’s evidence if the state or municipality moves to detain a defendant.