Domestic violence cases in Massachusetts follow the same kind of knee jerk response to high profile cases in Colorado As a result of the conviction for murder of Jared Remy – the son of red Sox player Jerry Remy, ALL defendant’s in Massachusetts’ domestic violence cases will face extreme scrutiny before bail is set in their cases.
In August of 2014 Jared Remy was accused arrested and accused of assaulting his wife – Jennifer Martel. Upon his release without the setting of bail – the worst happened and he returned to beat her to death. Because of Remy’s actions – the DA instituted the kind of bail policies that have been a part of the Colorado domestic violence system for decades.
A More Aggressive Approach To Setting Bail In Colorado Domestic Violence Cases
There is no excuse for Remy’s attack on his wife – but to make every man accused domestic violence pay for Remy’s crime – is just unfair. Each case should turn on the facts of that case.
As a result of Remy’s acts – every domestic abuse case is treated differently from ever other criminal case on the issue of setting bond. Each case is rigorously screened – every police report is reviewed – every prior criminal conviction is reviewed – and a supervisor personally reviews every bail recommendation. All this takes a great deal of time.
Victim/witness advocates will call the alleged victim, and will have local police track them down if they cannot be found Web Site.
High Bails Are Now Set – Alleged Domestic Violence Victims’ Wishes Ignored
The result of one man’s actions has meant extremely high bails, or, in some cases, recommendations of no bail where the DA feels the accused poses a danger. This is true even where the domestic violence evidence is weak and the likelihood of success at trial is small.
Even where the alleged victim herself appears in the courtroom and testifies that they not only do not fear their significant other, they are literally begging the Court to release their significant others to come home, their pleas fall on deaf ears.
In cases where the recommendation is for no bail – the defendant is held without bail for up to three days. Known as “58A dangerousness detention” these defendants are held even where the prosecutor knows his or her chances of winning the case is minimal.
A Judge Speaks Out – DA Lacks Credibility
One judge sees this political grandstanding for what it is. Understanding the evidence was weak in a specific domestic violence case she cautioned the DA at his bail request and made the remarked that the bail request made her take all of the DA’s requests for bail and bail conditions “less serious.”
If Colorado’s Victim’s Rights Law Is To Mean Anything…
If Colorado’s victim’s rights law is to mean anything… it must mean that the wishes of alleged victims will be taken seriously in EVERY case. The fear of these alleged victims in most cases which involve very minor crimes – is not of the accused defendant – it is the loss of the defendant’s employment, the loss of the family home, the loss of their savings to fight the case, the creation of a criminal history that closes many doors for the accused, the loss of contact with the children of the accused and the dozens of collateral impacts on the life of the family as a result of “taking a hard line.”
Remy will spend the rest of his life in prison – fine – but the prison he has created for the thousands of domestic violence defendant’s in Massachusetts should not be his legacy to the state.