Alabama Supreme Court blocks no bail order for Montgomery Circuit Court

Published: Oct. 1, 2022 at 5:03 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 4, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama Supreme Court justices on Friday suspended and stayed an administrative order entered by Judge Johnny Hardwick, the presiding judge of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit, that would have taken effect on Saturday.

The court’s order stopped Judge Hardwick’s order, which would eliminate bail for persons charged with non-violent traffic or misdemeanor offenses, and many Class D, C, or B felonies.

In a letter on Friday, Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey requested that the Alabama Supreme Court intervene saying in part that Judge Hardwick’s order, if allowed, would require the immediate release of criminal defendants charged with serious crimes.

Bailey said some those serious crimes could include:

  • Bail jumping in the first degree
  • Child abuse
  • Burglary in the third degree
  • Chemical endangerment of a child
  • Arson in the third degree
  • School employee having sexual contact with a student under the age of 19
  • Violators of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act
  • Possession of child pornography

Montgomery County Sheriff Derrick Cunningham, Montgomery Police Chief Darryl Albert, and Executive Director of Prosecution Services Barry Matson all signed the letter with Bailey.

Bailey’s letter to the court outlines that an organization funded by Texas billionaire John Arnold has been meeting with stakeholders in Montgomery for the last several years in an effort to reform the criminal justice system in a similar fashion to what his organization has done in New York and other cities across the United States.

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