Governor Sandoval vetoed a Nevada Assembly Bill 136 to eliminate monetary bail and move to a “risk assessment” system similar to NJ.

The governor said that although the bill is “commendable in some respects,” it “would incorporate a new an unproven method for determining whether a criminal defendant should be released from custody without posting bail.”

Sandoval said there is no conclusive evidence that alternative risk assessment methods proposed in the bill “are effective in determining when it may or may not be appropriate to release a criminal defendant without bail.”

Governor Sandoval’s Letter:

Dear Speaker Frierson:

I am herewith forwarding to you, for filing within the constitutional time limit and without my approval, Assembly Bill 136 (“AB 136”), which is entitled:

AN ACT relating to criminal procedure; revising provisions governing factors to be considered by the court in deciding whether to release a person without bail; prohibiting a court from relying on a bail schedule in setting the amount of bail after a personal appearance by a defendant; and providing other matters properly related thereto.

AB136, while commendable in some respects, would incorporate a new and unproven method for determining whether a criminal defendant should be released from custody without posting bail. No conclusive evidence has been presented showing that the risk assessment methods proposed by AB136 are effective in determining when it may or may not be appropriate to release a criminal defendant without requiring bail. Decisions made by judges during the bail phase of a criminal prosecution are of the utmost importance. It is not clear that the provisions of AB136 will enhance the ability of Nevada’s judges to make these determinations in a manner that balances the interests of justice and public safety.

For these reasons I veto AB136 and return it without my signature or approval.

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