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View from the Bench: "I'm embarrassed"

Categories: | Author: Administrator Account | Posted: 12/11/2012 | Views: 314

By the Hon. Gregory J. Donat

The Indiana Constitution provides in Article 1, Section 12: “Justice shall be administered freely, and without purchase; completely, and without denial; speedily, and without delay.”

“Without purchase” is an interesting concept. Does it mean that paying money will not determine who is in jail and who is not in jail? You’d never know it from the way things work in Indiana where whether a person is held in jail or released is completely determined by the ability to pay bond money. In fact, 60 percent of inmates in county jails nationally are awaiting disposition of their case and not serving a sentence. They simply cannot post a money bond. Liberty is purchased by a “bond schedule.” I am at a complete loss to reconcile these facts with the Indiana Constitution.


Indiana State Bar Association

November 2012, Res Gestae, Vol. 56, No. 4, p. 46


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