Bail Set For Dominique Strauss-Kahn

IMF Chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will be released on bail .

Judge Michael Obus set bail terms of $1m in cash as well as $5m in an insurance bond set against the international politician's properties in the US. He also demanded that Strauss-Kahn surrender all his travel documents and that he remain under house arrest in Manhattan under 24-hour armed guard.

On the armed security company: [More...]

[Defense counsel William Taylor) presented the judge with the details of a New York security company, Stroz Friedberg, that would be responsible for ensuring that the former IMF chief would not flee the country.

Stringent conditions would include an electronic bracelet that would send a signal to the company and a police station the moment Strauss-Kahn left the property, video cameras to monitor him inside the property, and a 24-hour rotation of armed guards who would be physically present at the apartment.

This was absolutely the right decision.

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    Nice to be rich (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by fuzzyone on Thu May 19, 2011 at 04:33:10 PM EST
    Of course if you were poor and charged with the same crime and could not afford to pay for these elaborate measures you would sit in jail.  Now granted his wealth and position are part of what make him a flight risk but I have done plenty of arraignments in New York and this kind of charge would net several thousand in bail at a minimum, most likely low five figures.  More than enough to keep the majority of defendants in jail for the duration.  (I had plenty of clients who were held because they could not make $500 bail).

    Guess again (none / 0) (#8)
    by Rojas on Thu May 19, 2011 at 06:47:27 PM EST
    Thousands if not tens of thousands who are innocent... until proven guilty.

    In Houston the pretrial population is close to 60%. I doubt if they are too far out of the group as compared to the rest of the state.


    Michael Obus is a fair judge (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by mjames on Thu May 19, 2011 at 04:53:59 PM EST
    and yes, it is truly unjust that money talks.

    However, if an accused puts up enough money and is under 24-hour house arrest and there appears to be no chance of his fleeing, what then would be the purpose of keeping him at that hellhole Rikers? Punishment because he's rich? That's not right either.

    If staying at Rikers would be (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 19, 2011 at 06:53:54 PM EST
    punishment for being rich, what is it then for those who aren't rich?  Punishment for being poor?

    Exactly. (none / 0) (#12)
    by leap on Thu May 19, 2011 at 11:03:54 PM EST
    Thank you for saying that, MT.

    Yes (none / 0) (#16)
    by mjames on Fri May 20, 2011 at 10:14:51 AM EST
    Horribly unfair for the poor. I worked for years in those very trenches trying to get a smidgeon of justice for the poor. The courts usually ostensibly set bail because the poor defendant has no ties to the community and thus there is no guarantee that he or she will return to court.  

    My point is: if, under the rules of the system, this guy can ensure he's no flight risk, then he should have bail set. But he should not be remanded without bail. There is a difference between remand and having bail set. Most defendants, rich or poor, have some bail set, even without ties to the community. Unfortunately, in practice, this amounts to remand for the poor because the poor defendant has no money.  

    Terribly unjust. But this guy should not have to pay for this injustice.


    Wealthy plus status (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by oculus on Thu May 19, 2011 at 06:21:49 PM EST
    prevails. Disappointing.

    Very (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Thu May 19, 2011 at 06:54:26 PM EST
    if he's innocent (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by loveed on Thu May 19, 2011 at 10:38:17 PM EST
     he will lose alot of money proving this.1mil. cash 5mil bond,had to quit his job.
     If he's innocent where do he go to get his reputation and money back?

    America... (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Thu May 19, 2011 at 04:40:36 PM EST
    where anyone with 6 extra million can get a fair shake.

    NYDN reports (none / 0) (#5)
    by scribe on Thu May 19, 2011 at 05:43:53 PM EST
    that he also was served with an indictment on seven charges, with an exposure of 25 years (at least one first-degree charge in there) and that the being-outside will cost him about $200k a month.

    I set it out in a little more detail in a comment I posted on the earlier thread while TL was posting this thread.

    While I usually agree with TL on most things, especially bail, I have to disagree with TL on the correctness of allowing this defendant bail:  it's surely an infamous crime, he had to be pulled off an international flight while trying to leave the jurisdiction ("fleeing" or just "leaving", it doesn't matter b/c he would never be coming back once the charges were lodged), and the spectacle of a rich man being able - like Bernie Madoff - to buy his way out on bail by hiring private security merely heightens both the impression and the reality of justice for sale if you can afford it and also makes for a harder defense case.  Every potential juror in Manhattan will know he bought his way out on bail when an ordinary schlub could not have and have that in the backs of their minds, making them less likely to give him the benefit of any presumption of innocence he may have had.

    jurors usually don't know (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Thu May 19, 2011 at 11:40:45 PM EST
    if a defendant is in jail. They can wear street clothes to trial and judges take many precautions to ensure that the jurors don't encounter them being transported in the hallways. Jurors are not brought in from the jury room  until everyone is in place.

    The court was provided his flight tickets today which showed he had booked the flight to France days before this incident.

    His waiver of extradition is sufficient to bring him back from anywhere, bypassing the courts.

    These kinds of bail are more and more common,  John Gotti was one of the first to get bond by agreeing to private security monitoring.

    Bail is not punishment. It's designed to reasonably assure the person's presence at trial. There's no place DSK could go to hide, his face is too well known. These conditions reasonably assure his appearance, and that's all that is required.


    He's been on the front page (none / 0) (#14)
    by scribe on Fri May 20, 2011 at 07:22:23 AM EST
    of the tabloids for days now, starting with "Le Perv" on the NYDN the morning after his arrest.  One can hardly live in NYC or its surrounding area without taking in the information on those front pages, by osmosis if in no other way.

    Someone in that jury room is going to remember.

    Which is (ultimately, regardless of what the caselaw say) why, in NY, the defendant can waive a jury without the prosecutor being able to block that waiver, and also a subsidiary reason most criminal juries in NYC get sequestered.


    That is an interesting question. (none / 0) (#15)
    by nyjets on Fri May 20, 2011 at 08:34:59 AM EST
    Will the case be moved to a different venue because of all of the press?

    Oh - and I forgot one other reason (none / 0) (#6)
    by scribe on Thu May 19, 2011 at 05:49:38 PM EST
    There was that notorious case a few years back where a thuggish Serb on a basketball scholarship at a SUNY campus upstate beat senseless a rather milquetoast fellow-student, just for the fun of it.  The kid was in a coma for months.

    The thug was arrested, charged, and ultimately made bail, having to surrender his travel documents and do other things intended to make sure he showed up.  So his mom, who had some political connections back in the Old Country, got him a replacement passport with the assistance and connivance of consular officials, and he skipped the country and would not come back, claiming he could not get a fair trial in the USofA.  Ultimately, he was tried in Serbia, convicted, and is walking around free after getting a slap on the wrist.

    If some no-name college thug with a few connections can pull off that kind of business, the formerly-leading candidate to replace the President of France, with infinitely more money and power, surely can, too.