TRENTON, N.J. (AP/CBS) — The former star of “Dog the Bounty Hunter” is joining a legal effort to have New Jersey’s new bail rules thrown out.
Duane “Dog” Chapman spoke Monday during a news conference at the federal court building in Trenton, where lawyers announced a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of a man who was fatally shot in Millville this past April.
“So this hug-a-thon campaign has got to stop,” said Chapman. “It’s killing people as you can see. What we need now is for people to stand up for your rights, for your lives, for your children and grandchildren’s lives.”
Chapman says he’s supporting the family of Christian Rodgers, who was allegedly killed by Jules Black. Black had been arrested days before but released because of New Jersey’s “Bail Reform Initiative.” Black remains in custody.
The suit’s defendants include Gov. Chris Christie and state Attorney General Christopher Porrino.
It claims the gunman wasn’t detained because of bail reforms that went into effect this year and were championed by the Republican governor.
Proponents of the reforms say they help keep defendants from being stuck in jail mainly because they can’t afford bail.
This is at least the second lawsuit from the bail industry trying to overturn the changes.
Attorney Daniel Rosenberg broke down the guideline change.
“The idea is the size of your bank account doesn’t determine whether or not you are released pre trial,” said Rosenberg.
He says rather than someone’s pre-trail released depending if they can afford bail, it is now determined in the state by two scales.
“One of them is your failure to appear score. The other is the risk that you will commit another offense. And you could have a one and a one and that suggests that you are likely to be released. A six and a six would mean you are likely to be detained.”
Since January, a new report shows that the number of pre-trial incarcerations has dropped over 20% statewide.
Figures that have overall been deemed a bipartisan success, but not for everyone.
“I want them to know what kind of success they have created yes. You guys successfully let this guy out when he shouldn’t have been he should have been,” said Rodgers’ mom.
So far, there is no comment from the governor on the lawsuit.
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