The Constitution currently requires a court to grant bail to a jailed person in a criminal case before trial. If the person posts bail, the person is released from jail pending trial.
The amendment would give a court the option of ordering a person to remain in jail in some situations. The court could order such detention based upon concerns that the person, if released: will not return to court; is a threat to the safety of another person or the community; or will obstruct or attempt to obstruct the criminal justice process.
The amendment authorizes the Legislature to pass laws concerning pretrial release and pretrial detention. The amendment would take effect on January 1, 2017 to allow any new laws to be enacted and their requirements to be established.
The amendment would also remove language in the Constitution about bail eligibility for death penalty cases. The death penalty no longer exists in New Jersey.
Do you approve amending the Constitution to allow a court to order pretrial detention of a person in a criminal case? This would change the current constitutional right to bail.
The change to the Constitution would mean that a court could order that a person remain in jail prior to trial, even without a chance for the person to post bail, in some situations.
The amendment also removes language in the Constitution about bail eligibility for death penalty cases. The death penalty no longer exists in New Jersey.