(AP) – The Missouri Supreme Court has struck down a law
that denies bail to criminal defendants who cannot prove they are legally
present in the U.S.
The unanimous decision Thursday comes in the case of a man who was charged
with a felony for possessing a forged Social Security card. Faustino
Lopez-Matias has been in jail since Sept. 3.
He was denied bail by a state judge, who cited a Missouri law prohibiting bail
for defendants believed to be in the U.S. without legal permission.
The state’s high court said the law violates the state Constitution, which
says people have a right to be released on bail pending a trial unless they face
capital charges or pose a danger to others.
The court ordered the judge to reconsider granting bail.
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