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RHODE ISLAND CRIMINAL DEFENSE
A Practice Manual, 4th Edition
© John E. MacDonald
State v. Abbott, 322 A.2d 33 (R.I. 1974). Sets forth the criteria for setting bail after conviction.
“Having in mind the natural reluctance to incarcerate a person prior to final conviction … Consideration should be given to (1) whether the appeal is taken for delay or in good faith on grounds not frivolous but fairly debatable; (2) the habits of the individual regarding respect for the law insofar as they are relevant on the question of whether an applicant’s release would pose a threat to the community; (3) local attachments to the community by way of family ties, business or investment; (4) the severity of the sentence imposed, and circumstances relevant to the question of whether a defendant would remove himself from the jurisdiction of the court.” Id. at 35.
“In cases where a short sentence has been imposed, consideration must be given to the question of whether or not a denial of bail will nullify the right of appeal. With these guidelines in mind, we look at the record before us.” Id.
The R.I. Supreme Court set bail (despite the imposition of a ten year jail term for kidnapping and rape) citing the following facts: “There is no evidence which indicates any justifiable apprehension that the defendants will flee the jurisdiction. Their conduct during the entire time their cases have been before the Superior Court shows a willingness to abide by the punishment imposed by the Superior Court in the event their appeals are unsuccessful. Apart from the incident presently under review, the absence of any past criminal record demonstrates a likelihood that they will conduct themselves in a proper manner during the time their appeals are pending.” Id.
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