Simpson v. Arizona & Martinez v. Arizona

Amicus Curiae Brief of the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Petitioners.

Brief filed: 10/20/2016


Simpson v. Arizona & Martinez v. Arizona

Arizona Supreme Court; Case No. CR-16-0227-PR

Prior Decision

Decision below in Arizona Court of Appeals, Div. 1, No. 1 CA-SA 15-0292 (consolidated with No. 1 CA-SA 15-0295).


Categorical denials of the right to bail run afoul of due process. Courts have emphasized that pretrial liberty is the norm since U.S. v. Salerno. Hearings to determine whether "the proof is evident or the presumption is great" do not satisfy due process requirements as they violate the presumption of innocence. Arizona's categorical bail denial law is an outlier despite the well-established tradition nationwide of release in noncapital cases. Pretrial detention causes widespread, irreparable, and unnecessary harm. 

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Kathleen E. Brody, ACLU Foundation of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ; Andrea Woods and Ezekiel Edwards, ACLU Foundation Criminal Law Reform Project, New York, NY; Anne Chapman, Mitchell Stein Carey PC, Phoenix, AZ.