FRANKFORT, Ky. (6/17/13) – A new litigation resource was released today by the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy (DPA). The Kentucky Pretrial Release Manual is the latest advancement in the renewed emphasis on bail advocacy occurring both in Kentucky and nationally. It follows upon DPA pretrial release litigation education and collaboration with others in the criminal justice system who value pretrial justice, particularly, the KY Administrative Office of Courts' Pretrial Services Division. The Manual is the most comprehensive attempt to date to maximize the efforts in obtaining the pretrial release of the accused. It provides motivational, instructional and practical materials for use by the criminal practitioner whose client is in jail awaiting trial.
Manual editor B. Scott West, DPA General Counsel and longtime public defender, said “there is no such thing as a presumption of innocence where there is no pretrial release. The articles in the beginning of the Manual inspire a continued change from a culture that resigns itself to the routine incarceration prior to trial of those who are too poor to afford a cash bond into a culture that demands full attention to the constitutional rights to bail regardless of wealth or status. This Manual serves as a written testament to our renewed dedication to notions of justice, fairness and basic human dignity, guaranteed by the constitutions of our state and nation.”
The Manual and the work of KY public defenders are receiving acclaim from national pretrial release leaders, “As a result of HB 463, Kentucky finds itself once again at the forefront of pretrial justice reform. This time, however, there is a critical difference,” said Tim Murray, Executive Director of the Pretrial Justice Institute in Washington, D.C. “Kentucky defenders refuse to allow the state’s justice system to operate as though reform has not been legislated. With dogged determination, defenders refuse to accept needless pretrial detention as a necessary evil of a busy justice system but instead insist that bail decisions regarding their clients be based upon measured risk – not the dollars they have in their pockets. The Department’s vigorous pursuit of pretrial justice in Kentucky has indeed set the standard for other communities to emulate. This Manual is the latest installment and is a model for the nation.”
Jerry Cox of Rockcastle County, Chair of the KY Public Advocacy Commission, the statewide public defender governing board, and President-Elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said “It is imperative for defense lawyers to represent their clients from the first appearance and vigorously advocate for pretrial release. Nothing less is acceptable. This pretrial release resource developed and made available by DPA to all in the criminal justice system will help more clients be released prior to their trials. This is something we all want. And it saves counties money it can use for other needs.”
“One of the most important objectives for our clients is release pretrial,” Public Advocate Ed Monahan said. “Empirical evidence shows that having counsel at the initial appearance before a judge improves the outcomes for a criminal defendant. And studies show that, holding all other factors constant, individuals who are detained prior to trial suffer from greater conviction rates and more severe sentencing than those who are released prior to trial. Defenders are working to provide our clients with what we all expect for ourselves, vigorous advocacy for release at first appearance.”
Education of defenders across Kentucky on pretrial release is occurring at the 2013 Annual Public Defender Conference which begins today. The KY Pretrial Release Manual is available at: http://tinyurl.com/dpa-pretrial
The Manual is a practice guide for pretrial release advocacy, and has form motions, briefs and writs relating to bail issues at all levels, including bail hearings, district court habeas proceedings and circuit court appeals. These forms appear in the last chapter of the Manual. DPA has placed these resources on its web page so they are freely available to all criminal justice professionals including manuals addressing collateral consequences, evidence, juvenile litigation, trial law. They are found at: http://dpa.ky.gov/dpapub.htm
Information provided by Jessie Luscher (Department of Public Advocacy)
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