Senate Bill 222
149th General Assembly (2017 - 2018)
Out of Committee 6/13/18
The General Assembly has ended, the current status is the final status.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO RELEASE OF PERSONS ACCUSED OF CRIMES.
This Act amends Delaware’s laws regarding release of persons accused of crimes (Chapter 21 of Title 11 of the Delaware Code) as required in conjunction with the adoption of Senate Bill No. 221, which proposes a constitutional amendment to permit preventive detention of certain persons accused of crimes. This Act both protects defendants’ due process rights and public safety by expanding the list of circumstances for which defendants may be detained pretrial without the opportunity for release and providing adequate due process protections for detention-eligible defendants. This Act protects public safety by permitting courts to detain defendants who are charged with an enumerated offense, or to whom certain enumerated circumstances apply, and who present unmitigated risks of non-appearance in court or danger to public safety. This Act also protects defendants’ rights by doing the following: (1) Requiring the Attorney General to establish by proof positive or presumption great that the defendant committed the detention-eligible offense and by clear and convincing evidence that no condition or combination of conditions of release will reasonably assure the defendants appearance in court or the safety of a witness, a victim, or the community. (2) Ensuring detention-eligible defendants are represented by counsel at the initial detention and subsequent hearings. (3) Requiring courts to hold a full detention hearing within 10 days of the defendant’s arrest where defendants have the right to testify, to present evidence, and to cross-examine witnesses against them. (4) Requiring expedited review of the detention order by Superior Court. (5) Providing speedy trial protections for any defendant who is detained prior to adjudication. This Act also does the following: (1) Improves procedural fairness by permitting courts to make transparent decisions about who to detain and who to release pretrial. (2) Strengthens the strong presumption of pretrial release upon least restrictive conditions for those defendants who can safely be released in the community. (3) Requires data collection and annual reporting of pretrial outcomes that will be available for public dissemination. Finally, this Act makes technical corrections to conform existing law to the standards of the Delaware Legislative Drafting Manual.
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Takes effect upon being signed into law