City seeks stay of judge’s order on jails

CITY HALL – St. Louis is seeking a stay of a federal court judge’s order to grant felony detainees new bail hearings under new standards, or release them immediately.

U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig ruled Monday that current inmates in the city’s two jails must get new detention hearings within a week. New arrestees must have a hearing within 48 hours of their arrest. Fleissig said inmates could still be held if they were determined to be a danger to the community or if there is no other way to ensure they show up for court.

On Thursday, the city counselor’s office filed to temporarily block the order. 

Our concern is for the safety of our residents, visitors, and businesses,” the office said in a statement. The office said “virtually all” of the nearly 900 detainees currently in custody by the courts were accused of serious felony charges.

The statement cites 92 detainees charged with murder; 23 with other degrees of homicide; 71 with first-degree assault; 96 with first-degree robbery; and 72 with domestic violence, sexual offenses (including against children), and violations of protection orders.

“The city supports bail reform and the protection of everyone’s constitutional rights. It is out of an abundance of caution that the city is seeking a stay of the federal court judge’s order,” the counselor’s office adds.


June Heath

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