The Champion

December 2013 , Page 05 

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From the President: Dispense With the Presumption Of Pretrial Detention

By Jerry J. Cox

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In March of this year, I co-authored a piece in the Kentucky Bar Association’s Bench & Bar magazine that was reprinted in The Champion — “The Cost of Representation Compared to the Cost of Incarceration: How Defense Lawyers Reduce the Costs of Running the Criminal Justice System.” In that article, one of the points that we made was that the sooner counsel is provided, the better. We know that representation at a defendant’s first appearance where liberty is at stake is of critical importance. It affects whether bail is set and it affects the amount of any bail required to be posted. Pretrial detention for those who don’t need to be detained is plain foolish and financially wasteful. And the fact that similarly situated accused persons who differ only in the resources available to them will have different outcomes with respect to their pretrial liberty is downright unfair and un-American.

Indeed, NACDL’s Board of Directors adopted a resolution in February 2012 urging the rec

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