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First Appearance | October 2023

October 31, 2023

Updated NCSL Resource on Money Bail

NCSL recently updated a summary of laws authorizing financial conditions of pretrial release or “money bail.” In addition to whether the conditions are authorized by state law, the summary addresses how these conditions are used. This includes state statutory requirements for courts to consider a defendant’s ability to pay when using secured financial conditions requiring defendants to post money in order to be released before trial. 

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A 2023 Recap of Criminal Justice

NCSL staffer Amanda Essex, Sen. Whitney Westerfield (R-Ky.) and Rep. Roger Goodman (D-Wash.) reviewed a year of legislative action and trends at NCSL’s Legislative Summit this summer. Catch up on their key takeaways, including a trend toward prioritizing treatment opportunities over jail time. 

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The Impact of Genetic Test on Cold Cases 

Law enforcement’s use of DNA evidence to solve violent crimes has led to breakthroughs in dormant investigations, giving hope to victims’ families and raising privacy concerns. However, with more than 26 million people having taken a home genetic test, states have been grappling with how to balance justice and individual rights to privacy. 

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In the News

Washington’s New Office of Independent Investigations

Investigators hired by the newly created Washington Office of Independent Investigations are participating in basic law enforcement training in preparation for their new roles to investigate in-custody deaths and use of deadly force across the state. New investigators are training alongside new officers to learn about topics that will be key for their newly created roles.  

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Oklahoma Interim Study Examines For-Profit Mugshots

NCSL staffer Amber Widgery recently provided an overview of state laws aimed at addressing for-profit sharing of booking photos to the Oklahoma Senate Public Safety Committee. About half the states have prohibited websites from charging fees or gaining revenue from requests to have the photos removed.

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