‘Weedman’ Challenges NJ Bail Reform
Half a year into the new New Jersey bail reform law, and already the new law is being challenged in court. This week, on July 12 and 13, Edward “NJ Weedman” Forchion will appear in Mercer County Court for a bail detention hearing. According to a July 10 press release and his May letter to the editor of the Burlington County Times, Forchion will challenge the New Jersey Bail Reform and Speedy Trial Act in court.
Forchion was arrested in March 2017 on witness tampering charges after allegedly selling marijuana out of his Trenton restaurant, and detained by the court. The court has denied his appeals to be released on bail.
“For over 200 years, the U.S. Constitution guaranteed bail and now Gov. Chris Christie has eviscerated it with the N.J. Bail Reform Act. I am a political prisoner that has been unconstitutionally detained since March 3, 2017,” Forchion said in the press release.
According to Forchion, the Bail Reform Act violates the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and contradicts precedents set by the U.S. Supreme Court in Stack v. Boyle and the N.J. Supreme Court in State v. Craig Johnson.
New Jersey voters passed the Bail Reform Act in 2014, and the law was enacted on Jan. 1, 2017. The act removes financial resources as a factor in a person’s pretrial detention, and therefore avoids letting dangerous criminals out on bail simply because they have the financial ability to buy their freedom.
Instead, New Jersey judges now use a digitally-calculated risk score that evaluates factors such as the alleged person’s age, behavior, criminal history and severity of the crime to determine if they should be eligible for bail or not. Those who are granted bail must complete non-monetary requirements of bail at home while awaiting trial. Those who are denied bail must await trial in prison.
Getting Help With NJ Bail Reform
The attorneys at Rosenberg | Perry & Associates stay abreast of changes to the New Jersey legal environment militantly. If you’re looking for more information on bail reform in New Jersey, or need an experienced attorney to represent you in court, Rosenberg | Perry & Associates can help. Our compassionate team of aggressive defense attorneys are always available to provide consultations free of charge when you call (609) 216-7400.