Saturday, June 27, 2009
Who gets bail and who remains in jail has been interesting to watch. The question is not limited to one stage of the criminal process, as the issue arises 1) upon indictment and arrest, 2) after a guilty finding at trial, 3) after sentencing, and 4) after an initial appellate ruling.
The first stage - upon indictment and arrest - is often one of the easier ones for obtaining release as there is no conviction and being charged with a white collar crime, there is little chance of the accused using violence to harm others. In this stage Madoff, Snipes, Lay, and most other white collar individuals were released pending their trial. So it is not surprising to see that R. Allen Stanford is being given bail pending his trial.
So knowing the likelihood of bail, is it really proper for the government to parade Stanford in a jumpsuit in front of the media. Check out the picture with this article:Mauricio Guerrero, NYTimes, Stanford Enters Plea; Bail Is Set at $500,000 It's all well and good if Stanford is found guilty. But if he is not convicted - the picture of the escorted man in an orange jumpsuit will forever remain. The problem here is not the press. The problem is the government's misuse of its power to taint an individual who has not been proved guilty.