The Washington State Senate on Thursday passed Senate Joint Resolution 8218, sponsored by Sen. Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, which would amend the state Constitution to prevent accused criminals facing life sentences from being released on bail.
SJR 8218 would amend Article 1, Section 20 of the state Constitution so offenses that may result in a mandatory life sentence upon conviction are also not bailable. Carrell says in addition to the bail restriction, his constitutional amendment – once approved by voters – would give the Legislature the authority to create a tool that judges would use when setting bail for offenders.
“This is a great step toward keeping law enforcement and the general public safer in our communities,” said Carrell, who earlier this month sponsored Senate Resolution 8687 honoring six fallen law enforcement officers, four of whom were killed while serving in his district. “If the House of Representatives and the voters of Washington approve this constitutional amendment, not only will dangerous, repeat offenders be kept off the streets; the people also will have a voice in how the determination is made to keep certain offenders in jail.”
Receiving unanimous votes Thursday evening were Senate Bill 6316 and Senate Bill 6673. SB 6316, also sponsored by Carrell, would allow for better coordination and communication between local law enforcement and the state Department of Corrections. SB 6673 would create a task force to study ways to improve the bail bond industry, something Carrell has been working on for more than a decade.
“I wrote some of the very first laws in this state dealing with bounty hunters,” Carrell said. “This session I sponsored Senate Bill 6312, which would establish a minimum bond fee of 10 percent, and Senate Bill 6313, which would allow bail recovery agents to execute bench warrants instead taking a cop off the street to do so. Both of these bills have been rolled into the task force that SB 6673 creates, so we’ll be taking a much closer look at how the industry works with jails, prisons, DOC and the judicial system.”
SJR 8218, SB 6316 and SB 6673 will now be considered by the House of Representatives.Print This Post