State of Washington
Ethics Advisory CommitteeOpinion 04-07
May a judicial officer in open court consider the Judicial Information System screen of a defendant when setting conditions of release?
The prosecutor does not have the criminal history information in all cases and judicial officers are required to consider relevant factors, including criminal history and failures to appear (warrant information) in setting bail and other conditions of release.
CJC Canon 2(A) provides in part that judges should comply with the law. Canon 3(A)(1) also provides that judges should be faithful to the law. The terms for the release of the accused are set out in CrR 3.2 and CrRLJ 3.2. Section (a) of both rules provides in part that the court shall “on available information” consider relevant facts when setting conditions on the release of the accused. CrR 3.2(m) and CrRLJ 3.2(l) provide that evidence offered in connection with the release of the accused does not need to conform to the rules pertaining to the admissibility of evidence in a court of law.
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