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Knee-jerk reactions FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 01/25/2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Knee-jerk reactions

FRONTLINE
Ninez Cacho-Olivares
01/25/2011
Lawmakers always have the same knee-jerk reaction whenever a crime committed gets full publicity in media — especially in the broadsheets, and truly, it made the news only for want of news stories.

Right now, media’s flavor of the month is the carnap-murder of car dealers, which has the legislators all clamoring for the return of the death penalty for such crimes, or, in the case of Senators Chiz Escudero and Antonio Trillanes, proposing to make the crime of car jacks non-bailable.

The trouble is, this proposal, apart from being unconstitutional, since the Constitution expressly says in the Bill of Rights, that all persons, except those charged with offenses punishable by reclusion perpetua, or life sentences, when evidence is strong, shall, before conviction, be bailable by sufficient sureties, or be released on recognizance as may be provided by law. That right to bail shall not be impaired, even when the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus is suspended. Excessive bail shall not be required. (Article lll, Section 13).

What these provisions should mean is that even those accused of crimes that are punishable by life imprisonment can still avail themselves of bail — when the evidence against them is weak..... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20110125com2.html

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