Bail-Setting Decisions

The bail-setting decision is one of the early court decisions made in a case, and it has attracted attention from researchers studying legal decision making. When a case is adjourned (postponed), the court must decide what to do with the defendant until the next hearing of the case—basically, should the defendant be released on bail or not? The main goal of the bail decision is to ensure that the defendant appears at court for the next hearing. The bail decision also can affect later decisions in a case. Although laws govern the bail decision-making process, they are typically vague and ill defined, thus allowing courts considerable discretion. Past research on bail decision making has mostly been conducted in the United States and the United Kingdom; ...

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