A defendant charged with highway robbery was released on bail in the usual manner pending trial. At the trial, six months later, it appeared that the complaining witness had throughout this period been incarcerated for his inability to post bond. A second case involved a seven-dollar robbery. The victim, who reported the robbery, was rewarded for his trouble by imprisonment for a considerable time because he lacked the money to procure a bond. Such cases, unfortunately, while perhaps not usual, can hardly be regarded as atypical. The purpose of this article is to consider selected major problems in the law concerning imprisonment of material witnesses in criminal actions for failure to give recognizance as required. The state of the present law is considered, relevant constitutional problems are noted, and an effort is made in conclusion to consider the wisdom and desirability of present practices in the light of contemporary social conditions.
Ronald L. Sluyter,
Witnesses—Imprisonment of the Material Witness for Failure to Give Bond,
40 Neb. L. Rev. 503
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol40/iss3/7