PHOENIX – Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery issued the following statement in response to today’s opinion issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that Proposition 100 violates the Fourteenth Amendment. Approved by voters in 2006, Proposition 100 amended the state constitution to preclude bail for certain serious felony offenses if the person charged has entered or remained in the United States illegally and if the proof is evident or the presumption great as to the charge.
“There is an obvious disconnect between the Court's focus on a policy disagreement and the rhetoric of eight years ago with what is actually going on today. It is a fact that persons committing crimes in Maricopa County who are present without lawful authority have failed to appear when admission to bail was a regular practice. In these circumstances, since conditions of release include the admonition to be law abiding, we have the immediate reality of matters where a person accused of a crime is simultaneously in violation of federal law due to federal inaction, incompetence, and indifference. Rather than protect public safety and victims of crime, the Ninth Circuit has chosen to create a victim class of criminals. We are currently reviewing and determining our next steps in this matter.”