October 4, 2007
Arizona Court of Appeals: Undocumented Immigrants Can be Held Without Bail
Denying bail to those not in this country legally who are charged with certain felonies does not violate their constitutional rights, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled earlier this week. The court rejected arguments that the no-bail requirement, approved by voters in Proposition 100 last year, unfairly targets people who entered this country illegally. Attorneys for the defendant also said it "inflicts punishment without due process.'' Justice Donn Kessler, writing for the unanimous court, acknowledged that the U.S. Constitution "protects all persons present in this country - including illegal aliens - from unjustified and unfair governmental interference with fundamental rights.'' But Kessler said it is clear the purpose of Proposition 100 is not to punish those not here legally but simply to ensure that they appear at their trials. And that, he said, allows a person's legal status to be taken into consideration. The case involves a man originally stopped for possession of an open container of alcohol while in a vehicle. But he ultimately was charged with possession of forged documents related to identification he showed police. Released without bail, he showed up for his initial court hearing. But at that time the judge, following procedures mandated by the Supreme Court in the wake of Proposition 100, ordered him held without bond.
October 4, 2007 | Permalink
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