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Delaware lawmakers delay vote on constitutional amendment expanding bail denial

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DOVER, Delaware — State House members have postponed a vote on a proposed amendment to Delaware's constitution allowing bail to be denied for defendants charged with non-capital crimes.

The proposed amendment, which was pulled from Thursday's House agenda, is aimed at stopping the release of violent offenders who wind up being charged with more violent crimes after being released on bail.

Currently, bail can be denied only for first-degree murder. Supporters of the constitutional amendment say judges should be able to deny bail on other violent felony charges if they believe pretrial detention is the only way to reasonably ensure public safety.

The bill was defeated twice in the state Senate last June before being resurrected and passed in a little-noticed midnight vote on the final day of legislative session.

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