Del. Courts Form Domestic Violence Bail Review Task Force

Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Collins Seitz Junior has announced formation of the Delaware Domestic Violence Bail Review Task Force. The panel is expected to come up with recommendations surrounding judicial bail procedures in domestic violence cases and recommend best practices.

Members of the judiciary, prosecutors, defense attorneys, victim advocates and legislators will serve on the Task Force. Its recommendations are to be submitted to the Chief Justice by September 1st.

“Bail decisions in domestic violence cases are some of the hardest decisions judges have to make. Judges must respect the presumption of innocence but also assess the continuing risk of harm if a defendant is released,” Chief Justice Seitz said.

Delaware courts adopted interim bail reform measures in 2018 as part of the General Assembly’s reform legislation. Reform measures sought to end pre-trial incarceration of people who did not present public safety concerns but were being held simply because of lack of financial resources. The Delaware Judiciary, with input from justice system partners, drafted updated rules for bail in general that will be implemented July 1st. Those rules will be further updated after the Task Force submits its recommendations.

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