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Lawmakers seeking stop-gap answer to bail problem

Friday - 3/21/2014, 3:05pm  ET

NICK TABOR
Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Lawmakers are looking for a stop-gap measure to fix problems with Maryland's bail system, starting this spring. Sen. Joseph Getty, R-Carroll, says they disagree about how dramatic these short-term changes should be.

A workgroup with senators, delegates and the governor's staff met Friday morning to negotiate. Getty says they'll meet again Monday, as the legislative session ends April 7.

Most members want to test Sen. Brian Frosh's proposal in one or two counties. Frosh wants to hire pretrial workers who would use a formula to determine whether each person is jailed or released after arrest.

Getty says the question is whether to restructure Maryland's two-stage bail setting process in the meantime.

Maryland's highest court has ordered the state to provide a defense attorney at every bail hearing, starting in June.


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