by Roger Pharr
Las Vegas, NV - On April 9th, the Nevada Supreme Court handed down an opinion that drastically changed the practice of setting money bail in our state. This opinion included many of the things we asked for from our legislators in the last session. While we are grateful for the reduction in the inequities associated with cash bail in our state, this ruling does not address the unreasonable amounts of money requested for the release of currently incarcerated people.
Over 1,000 people are currently sitting in jail because of a cash bail process that the Nevada Supreme Court has found insufficient, just in Clark County. There are no doubt hundreds more throughout the state. They all deserve a new hearing.
Because our courts did not act to give these new hearings, we, Mass Liberation NV, and civil rights attorney Robert Langford and Associates teamed up to distribute a motion for a new hearing to everyone whose bail was set before the ruling. We’ve sent over 400 letters to individuals in Henderson, Las Vegas, and Clark County Detention Centers so far.
These motions request a new hearing on bail and/or compassionate release because of the ongoing pandemic. Each person can file on their own behalf, or work with their lawyer to make this request of the courts. We expect that many people will file these motions, and that the courts will follow the Supreme Court opinion and grant a prompt hearing under the new process.
Today we are making this same motion available to everyone who reads these words. We especially want to reach the hundreds more people in jails outside of the Las Vegas area that are in the same situation (Nye, Washoe, everyone!).
If you have a loved one who has been in jail unable to make bail since before April 9th, you may want to ask for a new bail hearing. The rules for bail have changed. Your loved one should not be held because of rules that are no longer valid.
Update: In response to multiple paper motions being filed, courts are responding with yet another barrier to this process by requiring a standby counsel for each motion. If you are having a difficult time finding an attorney, please write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will assist you.