Nicole Easley, a Baltimore woman charged with attempted murder, was granted a new bail hearing Tuesday after a courthouse recording revealed that a Circuit Court judge in September set a $750,000 bail knowing Easley could not pay it.
Maryland law requires bail be used only to ensure that a defendant appears for trial.
On Tuesday Easley, who is now represented by UB’s Pretrial Justice Clinic, was ordered held without bail.
Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh last month wrote an opinion saying the practice of holding defendants in jail because they are unable to meet bail would likely be found unconstitutional.
However, The Sun noted, this argument could result in more defendants being held without bail.
“Having clarity is helpful, and then we can move the system in the direction so the presumption of innocence is maintained,” Starger said.
Student-attorney Adam Shareef told Peters that he could impose an “unsecured bail,” in which Easley would not need to put money down but would be liable for a stipulated amount if she did not appear in court.
Peters demurred, saying: “It’s not a matter of bail. It’s a matter of access” to the victim.
Easley is accused of stabbing her boyfriend.
The judge dismissed requests that Easley be allowed to return home under a monitoring agreement, saying, “Can’t [she] just get out?”