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Jerry Cornfield |
Published: Monday, March 8, 2010, 12:49 p.m.

Bail measure will go before voters

The House today approved a proposed constitutional amendment to allow judges the ability to deny bail to persons accused of crimes that could result in their imprisonment for life.

The Senate passed it last week so it will now go to the November ballot.

This measure was drafted in response to the killing of four Lakewood police officers as they sat at a table in a coffee shop. The man accused in those killings bailed out of a Pierce County jail where he was being held on charges for which he would have been locked up for life if convicted.

"This bill is the only thing that I know that would have prevented the Lakewood tragedy," said Rep. Mike Hope, R-Lake Stevens, a prime sponsor of House Joint Resolution 4220.

Rep. Christopher Hurst, D-Enumclaw, called it the most important bill of the session to improve public safety because people "should be able to sit in a coffee shop without threat of being shot in the back of the head."

The measure passed 92-4. Democratic Reps. Rep. Dennis Flanigan, Bob Hasegawa, Dave Upthegrove and Brendan Williams cast the four dissenting votes.

Last Friday, the Senate passed HJR 4220 so it will now appear on the November ballot.

Here is the bill.

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