Voters Hand Judges Power to Deny Bail to Suspected Criminals - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Decision 2010

Voters Hand Judges Power to Deny Bail to Suspected Criminals

By GENE JOHNSON
Associated Press

SEATTLE - Washington voters overwhelmingly decided Tuesday to give judges more power to deny a suspect bail, after last year's brutal slaying of four Lakewood police officers by a gunman who had recently been released.

The Legislature approved the measure in the spring, but it is a constitutional amendment and must be approved by voters to be enacted. It was passing with nearly 86 percent of the vote Tuesday.

Previously, the only charge for which bail could be denied was aggravated murder. The amendment allows state judges to deny bail when a suspect is charged with any crime carrying a possible life sentence and poses a danger to the community.

Maurice Clemmons had posted bail less than a week before he killed the four Lakewood officers last November.  

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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