Arizona high court to rule on bail for sex-crime defendants

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Arizona Supreme Court building (Source: Tim Eigo, Arizona Attorney Magazine) Arizona Supreme Court building (Source: Tim Eigo, Arizona Attorney Magazine)
PHOENIX (AP) -

The Arizona Supreme Court plans Thursday to rule on the constitutionality of voter-approved laws generally prohibiting release on bail of defendants charged with certain sex crimes.

Appeals center on whether the laws approved by voters in 2002 violate the U.S. Constitution's due process protections.

The state Court of Appeals ruled that the laws are unconstitutional because they don't require consideration of whether any release conditions would protect victims and the community.

The appeals court ruled that it's not enough that laws require judges to consider whether there's enough evidence to presume defendants are guilty.

Crimes covered by the 2002 laws prohibiting bail include sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor under 15 and molestation of a child under 15.

Arizona also has no-bail laws in first-degree murder cases.

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