In a 7-0 decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court reversed an appellate panel’s ruling that a defendant who has been released pretrial under the Criminal Justice Reform Act, and subsequently violates a condition of that release, can be charged and prosecuted for criminal contempt by the state.

In State v. McCray and State v. Gabourel, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, writing for the court, said such action was at complete odds with the legislative intent of the CJRA. The act took effect on Jan. 1, 2017, under former Gov. Chris Christie and essentially eliminated money bail to make New Jersey’s pretrial justice system fairer.

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