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Proposing a constitutional amendment authorizing the denial of bail under some circumstances to a person accused of a violent or sexual offense or of continuous trafficking of persons.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated, other than the cost of publication.
The cost to the state for publication of the resolution is $178,333.
HJR 4 proposes an amendment to the Texas Constitution to modify the the circumstances under which certain defendants may be denied pretrial release on bail.
HJR 4 would allow magistrates to deny bail to any person accused of a violent or sexual offense or of committing continuous trafficking of persons if the magistrate determines that releasing the person on bail is insufficient to ensure their appearance in court or the safety of the community, law enforcement, and the victim of the alleged offense. A magistrate that denies bail in such a manner would have to prepare a written order detailing their reason for doing so.
Texas Action supports HJR 4 which is consistent with personal responsibility and individual liberty. A liberty-minded bail system is one that allows the pretrial release of nonviolent, low-risk defendants and prevents the release of violent, high-risk defendants. HJR 4 would expand the authority of judges and magistrates to deny bail for those accused of violent offenses, thus holding offenders accountable and protecting the safety of the public.