Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Proposition 100 upheld by state appeals court

Now that both the state court of appeals and the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, neither of which are liberals, have upheld Proposition 100, which was passed with 78% voter approval, it will be fairly difficult for anyone in the legal community to continue trying to thwart its implementation.

from the County Attorney's office -

The Arizona Court of Appeals has upheld the constitutionality of Proposition 100 in a case brought by a defendant who was denied bail under the voter approved law. County Attorney Andrew Thomas announced today that the Arizona Court of Appeals filed its opinion denying relief to the petitioner, Melvin Omar Hernandez. The defendant has since pled guilty to a forgery charge.

In the case, Hernandez v. Lynch (State), the defense claimed that Proposition 100 is unconstitutional under either the Equal Protection or Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution. The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled against the defense and upheld Proposition 100.

Prop 100 is the voter-approved initiative that denies bail for illegal immigrants accused of committing serious felonies in Arizona. The measure amended the state constitution.

Thomas’ office drafted Proposition 100 and lobbied the Arizona Legislature to refer the reform to the ballot. In 2006, Thomas helped lead the fight in favor of passage. Seventy-eight percent of Arizona voters approved Prop 100, which passed by the widest margin of any ballot measure last year.

In a ballot argument in favor of Prop 100, Thomas noted that those persons who meet the criteria of Prop 100 “should not be allowed to make bail and flee the country before standing trial for their crimes.” The Court of Appeals cited Thomas’ arguments and those of other proponents of Prop 100 in discerning the intent behind the measure.

“Prop. 100 was intended to thwart criminals from fleeing justice and accountability in Arizona courtrooms,” said Thomas. “This reform is essential if we are to prevent criminal offenders from coming and going as they please across our southern border.”

For more information contact: Mike Anthony Scerbo, Public Information Officer (602) 506-3170 (office) or (602) 489-6913 (cell)

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