Posted 11/1/2014

Lopez-Valenzuela v. Arpaio, 2014 WL 5151625 (9th Cir. October 15, 2014) (En Banc) struck down the Arizona Constitutional provision and related laws (Proposition 100) that denied pretrial release on bail to any defendant that was in the United States illegally and was charged with one of the felonies designated by the Legislature.  This blanket denial of bail applied without regard to the defendant’s danger to the community or the victims and without regard to the likelihood that the defendant would fail to appear if released.  The Court held that Proposition 100 was a denial of substantive due process both as a denial of liberty without a particularized determination of flight risk or dangerousness and as punishment before an adjudication of guilt.  The Court rejected the State’s argument that an illegal alien was per se a flight risk.  The Court emphasized that denial of bail under Proposition 100 was not limited to defendants charged with extremely serious offenses and did not address a pressing, acute problem.

In re A-Action Bonding Co., 2014 WL 5242607 (Tenn.Crim.App. October 15, 2014) reversed the suspension of a bonding company, its principal and one of its agents for soliciting business on the premises of the local jail.  The trial court relied on a cell phone recording of a videotaped conversation at the jail, but the original videotape had been destroyed and the cell phone recording, made by a competitor, was altered and incomplete.  The Court held that the cell phone recording should not have been admitted into evidence and that without it there was insufficient evidence of solicitation in violation of the statute.