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Washington Bail Measure headed to voters this fall

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March 9, 2010

OLYMPIA, Washington: This fall, voters in Washington will vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that calls for giving judges authority to deny bail whenever they deem the public at risk. The measure was proposed in the wake of six cop killings in Washington on November 29, 2009.[1] The officers were shot to death after an Arkansas parolee was released from jail on $190,000 bail. Several varying proposals were made by legislators, however, the final proposed amendment calls for allowing judges to deny bail to anyone charged with a crime carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison, including "Class A" felonies. Class A felonies include: murder, rape, armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. This would include approximately 5,000 defendants.[2][3]

To qualify for the ballot, the measure required at least a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate. On March 4, 2010, the Senate unanimously approved 48-0 the measure.[4] On March 8, 2010 the House approved the measure 92-4.[5]

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