[First Reprint]

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION No. 107

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 3, 2012

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  DONALD NORCROSS

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

Senator  KEVIN J. O'TOOLE

District 40 (Bergen, Essex, Morris and Passaic)

Senator  RICHARD J. CODEY

District 27 (Essex and Morris)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Senators Bateman, Allen, Beach, Connors, Madden and A.R.Bucco

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Proposes constitutional amendment to provide that release on bail may be denied to certain offenders.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As reported by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee on June 4, 2012, with amendments.

  


A Concurrent Resolution proposing an amendment to Article I, paragraph 11 of the Constitution of the State of New Jersey.

 

     Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of New Jersey (the General Assembly concurring):

 

     1.    The following proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of New Jersey is agreed to:

 

PROPOSED AMENDMENT

 

     Amend Article I, paragraph 11 to read as follows:

     11.  No person shall, after acquittal, be tried for the same offense. All persons shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, except [for capital offenses when the proof is evident or presumption great] that pretrial release may be denied if the court finds that no amount of sureties, non-monetary conditions of pretrial release or combination of sureties and conditions would assure the defendant’s appearance as required, or protect the safety of any person or of the community, or would prevent the defendant from obstructing or attempting to obstruct the criminal justice process. It shall be lawful for the Legislature to establish by law procedures, terms and conditions applicable to pretrial release and the denial thereof authorized under this provision.

(cf: Article I, paragraph 11)

 

     2.    When this proposed amendment to the Constitution is finally agreed to pursuant to Article IX, paragraph 1 of the Constitution, it shall be submitted to the people at the next general election occurring more than three months after the final agreement and shall be published at least once in at least one newspaper of each county designated by the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the General Assembly and the Secretary of State, not less than three months prior to the general election.

 

     3.    This proposed amendment to the Constitution shall be submitted to the people at that election in the following manner and form:

     There shall be printed on each official ballot to be used at the general election, the following:

     a.  In every municipality in which voting machines are not used, a legend which shall immediately precede the question as follows:

     If you favor the proposition printed below make a cross (X), plus (+), or check (a) in the square opposite the word "Yes." If you are opposed thereto make a cross (X), plus (+) or check (a) in the square opposite the word "No."

     b.  In every municipality the following question:

 

 

 

CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO ALLOW A COURT 1[TO DETERMINE WHETHER A CRIMINAL DEFENDANT SHOULD BE HELD WITHOUT BAIL PRIOR TO TRIAL] UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS TO DENY BAIL TO A DEFENDANT CHARGED WITH A CRIME1

 

 

YES

   Do you approve amending the Constitution to allow a court 1[to determine whether] under certain conditions to deny bail to1 a defendant charged with a crime 1[should be held without bail prior to trial]1?

   This change allows a court to 1[determine whether a defendant charged with a crime should be held without] deny1 bail prior to trial. 1[A court would consider whether denying a defendant’s release on bail is] The court could deny bail only if1 necessary to protect the community’s safety 1[,]1 or the safety of a specific person, or to prevent the defendant from obstructing or attempting to obstruct the criminal justice process.

   1[The court would also consider whether denying a defendant’s release on bail is necessary to assure that the defendant appears for a trial] The court also could deny bail if there is no way to otherwise assure that the defendant will appear for trial1.

 

 


 

 

 

INTERPRETIVE STATEMENT

 

 

NO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Currently, the Constitution 1[makes] provides that1 all persons 1[eligible for] are entitled to1 bail before conviction except persons charged with capital crimes which are punishable by death.  Since New Jersey no longer has a death penalty, all persons are 1[eligible for] entitled to1 bail.

   If approved, this constitutional amendment would allow a court 1[to determine whether a defendant charged with a crime should be held without bail prior to trial.  A court would consider whether denying a defendant’s release on bail is] under certain conditions to deny bail to a defendant charged with a crime.  This change permits a court to deny bail only if1 necessary to protect the community’s safety or the safety of a specific person, or to prevent the defendant from obstructing or attempting to obstruct the criminal justice process. 1[A court would also consider whether denying a defendant’s release on bail is necessary to assure that the defendant appears for a trial] The court also could deny bail if there is no way to otherwise assure that the defendant will appear for trial1

   A “yes” vote would amend the Constitution to allow a court 1[to decide whether a defendant charged with a crime should be held without bail prior to trial] under certain conditions to deny bail to a defendant charged with a crime1.  This change would make New Jersey’s bail system similar to the Federal government’s system of determining bail. 

   A “no” vote would leave the Constitution unchanged.  All defendants would still be 1[eligible for] entitled to1 bail before conviction.