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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1314085
 
 

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Deadly Dilemmas II: Bail and Crime


Ronald J. Allen


Northwestern University Law School

Larry Laudan


University of Texas School of Law

December 9, 2008

Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 08-44

Abstract:     
This paper examines the costs and benefits associated with current bail-granting policies and concludes that the granting of bail awaiting trial to those accused of serious crimes of violence and who have a record of prior convictions is unacceptably dangerous, accounting, among other things, for one in every ten homicides. We propose an overhaul of existing bail practices so that those accused of a violent crime have a claim on bail just in case they have two or fewer prior felony convictions. We claim that such a policy would respect both the rights of innocent defendants not to have their liberty curtailed without powerful reasons for doing so and the rights of innocent citizens not to be exposed to an unacceptably high risk of victimization by accused felons on bail. We flatly deny that pretrial liberty for those accused of a violent crime is an absolute right and refute the claim that behavior on bail is wholly unpredictable.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

Keywords: bail, preventive detention, prior convictions, violent crimes, serial felons

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Date posted: December 14, 2008 ; Last revised: April 9, 2012

Suggested Citation

Allen, Ronald J. and Laudan, Larry, Deadly Dilemmas II: Bail and Crime (December 9, 2008). Northwestern Public Law Research Paper No. 08-44. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1314085 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1314085

Contact Information

Ronald Jay Allen
Northwestern University Law School ( email )
375 E. Chicago Ave
Unit 1505
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-8372 (Phone)
312-503-2035 (Fax)

Larry Laudan (Contact Author)
University of Texas School of Law
727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
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