McGeorge Law Review


In recent years there has been a growing concern with the need to reform the procedures for releasing criminal defendants prior to trial. Many states have changed their laws to emphasize release of the defendant on his own recognizance rather than release when the defendant posts bail. However, there is also a growing concern over the release of "dangerous" defendants, i.e. those defendants who might commit another crime if released prior to trial. Assembly Bill 2834 was introduced in the 1971 Session of the California Legislature, but the bill failed to pass. A.B. 2834 would have made substantial changes in California law. The bill would have changed the law on pre-trial release of criminal defendants to emphasize release on O.R. (own recognizance). In addition A.B. 2834 would have allowed the arraigning magistrate to detain certain classes of defendants prior to trial. This comment briefly discusses the changes in pre-trial release as proposed by the bill and then analyzes the preventive detention provisions of the bill. The author attempts to determine which defendants, if any, can rationally be detained as a means of preventing crime committed during pre-trial release.

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