Lawsuit challenges Arizona bail law

April 8, 2008 at 9:15 PM

PHOENIX, April 8 (UPI) -- An Arizona law denying bail to illegal immigrants charged with felonies has been challenged in federal court.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund say the law violates the Fifth and Sixth amendments to the U.S. Constitution, The Arizona Republic reports.

Proposition 100 passed with the support of 78 percent of the voters. Since the proposition did not give a legal definition of which crimes were covered, the state Legislature defined them as felonies of all classes.

"We're not asking that anyone be released from jail," said Steve Monde, one of the lawyers involved in the suit. "We're asking that they be permitted, like all other criminal defendants in Arizona, to have their day in court to have the court determine whether they're flight risks."

Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, and County Attorney Andrew Thomas are among those named as defendants.

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