The right to reasonable bail or pretrial release has become a pillar of the modern U.S. criminal justice system. It became more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, when cities and counties nationwide scrambled to reduce their jail and prison populations to prevent its spread. This course will discuss how imperative it is to have your client released pretrial when possible, and the basics of arguing for pretrial release. When your client cannot afford cash bail, the course also reviews common release conditions that can be utilized in the alternative. The accessibility of pretrial release (or lack thereof) to criminal defendants has recently become the subject of much debate. The course will also survey the various approaches to bail reform, and weigh the arguments for and against it.
Ally F. Keegan, Esq.
September 21, 2020