Courts Target Bail Reform Rules That Let Violent Offenders Out Before Trial

The Delaware Courts have issued a statement announcing a review of Delaware’s Bail Reform rules:

Chief Justice Appoints Domestic Violence Bail Review Task Force to Improve and Enhance Pretrial Reforms

Delaware Supreme Court Chief Justice Collins J. Seitz, Jr. announced today the formation of the Delaware Domestic Violence Bail Review Task Force. The Task Force will make a detailed review of judicial bail procedures in domestic violence cases and recommend best practices for handling these difficult cases. Retired Supreme Court Justice Randy Holland will chair the Task Force. It will include members of the judiciary, prosecutors, defense attorneys, victim advocates, and legislators. The Task Force report and recommendations are expected to be provided to the Chief Justice by September 1, 2021.

“Bail decisions in domestic violence cases are some of the hardest decisions judges have to make. Judges must respect the presumption of innocence but also assess the continuing risk of harm if a defendant is released,” said Chief Justice Seitz. In 2018, as part of the General Assembly’s bail reform legislation, the Delaware Courts adopted interim rules to implement bail reform in Delaware. Bail reform sought to end pre-trial incarceration of individuals who did not present public safety concerns but ended up in jail simply because they lacked financial resources. With experience under the interim rules, the Delaware Judiciary – with input from justice system partners – drafted updated rules for bail in general that are set to be implemented July 1, 2021. Those rules will be further updated after review of the Task Force’s recommendations.

Chief Justice Seitz added that we are fortunate to have retired Supreme Court Justice Randy Holland bring his wisdom and experience to the work of the Task Force. “We thank Justice Holland for continuing his service to the citizens of the