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Miller: Only Baltimore needs bail system overhaul

Tuesday - 3/18/2014, 5:19pm  ET

Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) -- The Senate president says Baltimore should find its own solution to the requirement of staffing bail hearings with defense lawyers. He says the problem doesn't concern the rest of Maryland.

Meanwhile, legislative committees haven't advanced a single bill aimed at addressing the problem.

The crossover deadline was Monday, which increases the pressure on the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and House Judiciary Committee to act soon.

Maryland's highest court confirmed on March 7 that the state must provide defense lawyers at all bail hearings of poor defendants. Unless legislators overhaul the bail system before this session ends, the cost of additional lawyers could cost up to $30 million.

Miller told reporters Tuesday that areas like Montgomery County and the Eastern Shore should simply retain their current practices.

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