Since Michael Jackson’s arrest, when he was given a bail amount of $3,000,000, we’ve seen even larger profile cases with larger bail amounts. One of the most famous ones is that of Bernie Madoff. His bail bond amount was $10,000,000.
In the U.S. there have been cases of $100,000,000 bail amounts and even one case where the bail amount was set to $1 billion. But, in New Jersey a bail amount has never even reached $3,000,000. In all of these cases, the bail amount was set much higher than the bail schedule, suggested bail amounts for a variety of crimes. And these bail amounts were also violating the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which protects defendants from being charged ridiculously high bail amounts.
However, in these cases, the argument that the bail amount is in violation of the Eighth Amendment goes largely unheard. There’s a reason the bail amount was set so high. It could be because the defendant is a flight risk – they have enough money to flee the country and their crimes were bad enough to run from the consequences. It also could be that they’re a danger to society. If they’re a repeat offender, skipped a trial date in the past, or committed a crime while on bail in the past, there’s no reason to risk it happening again.
At the end of the day, protecting the lives of the public is the most important objective. Sometimes, that means making sure a criminal doesn’t escape the country to get away with his crimes and possibly commit them somewhere else. Sometimes, it means making sure a criminal isn’t out on the loose, allowing him to hurt more people.
It always draws attention when a judge sets a very large bail amount, as in the case of Michael Jackson and his $3,000,000 bail bond amount. The prosecution at the time wanted to guarantee that Jackson was present for all of his court cases and felt that, due to the size of his wealth, it was an amount that would keep him coming to court. The defense fought it tooth and nail citing Jackson’s ties to the community and that the prosecution didn’t have any evidence showing that Jackson wanted to flee.
However, in the end, Jackson could afford the bail amount and, when paid, wouldn’t have to spend the time before his trial in jail. And that’s the point of bail – to give that as an option to the defendant while making sure the bail amount is large enough to give the defendant a reason to continue to come to court.
The bail amount stayed at $3,000,000. There hasn’t been a high-profile arrest like Jackson’s in New Jersey yet and so there hasn’t been any New Jersey Bail Bonds controversy in the headlines. Maybe one day, the Garden State will have it’s own juicy bail bond controversy. Visit AAron Bail Bonds for more information on Bail bonds in New Jersey.