ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Senate is now just a vote away from approving a plan to rework the bail system and depend more on data, in what the bill’s sponsor calls a “moneyball” approach.

The Senate advanced the bill Friday afternoon, rejecting amendments that would have delayed or derailed it.

The bill is a response to a Court of Appeals decision, requiring the state to provide a public defender at every bail hearing for indigent defendants. Sen. Brian Frosh, the sponsor of the data-based plan, says the state could skirt this requirement at the earliest bail stage by replacing the first hearing with an automated system that uses criminal history data.

Sen. Bobby Zirkin says the House Judiciary Committee appears poised to advance a very different solution to the problem.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



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