Wednesday, January 19, 2011

News Coverage of Bond Law hearing

I spent the afternoon watching arguments in a Nashville Court about the bond law today. Then I saw the Channel 4 story about the hearing. I decided we had to be in different hearings. Here is what happened:
1) Judge Fishburn agreed with the State's position that the DUI multiple offender law did not change who sets bonds. In Nashville the Judicial Commissioners were deferring to the General Sessions Judges. The bond law is one section in the bond chapter. The chapter includes direction on who sets bonds in different situations.
2) Judge Fishburn agreed that the process should be that the Commissioner set a bond amount, determine if there is a risk of danger to the public from the driver and if so, set conditions to try to eliminate the danger.
3) The Judge then heard four cases concerning four different defendants and did what the law was intended to do. He set bond amounts between approximately $5,000 and $25,000; determined that the four defendants were dangerous and gave each a monitoring devise as a condition of bond. He ordered transdermal monitoring for each defendant that was driving on a revoked license and restricted the hours during which they could be outside their homes.
4) The Judge set a review date of February 17th to see how the implementation of the law progresses from now on.
5) He did not consider or rule on the constitutionality of the statute. Instead he ruled that the statute had not been followed in the four cases, because bonds had not been set in a timely manner.

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