UNITED STATES v. SALERNO

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Case Basics
Docket No. 
86-87
Petitioner 
United States
Respondent 
Salerno
Advocates
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
(Argued the cause for the United States)
Tags
Term:
Facts of the Case 

The 1984 Bail Reform Act allowed the federal courts to detain an arrestee prior to trial if the government could prove that the individual was potentially dangerous to other people in the community. Prosecutors alleged that Salerno and another person in this case were prominent figures in the La Cosa Nostra crime family.

Question 

Did the Bail Reform Act violate the Fifth Amendment's Due Process Clause?

Conclusion 
Decision: 6 votes for United States, 3 vote(s) against
Legal provision: 18 U.S.C. 3141

The Court held that the Act was constitutional because when the government's interest in protecting the community outweighs individual liberty, pre-trial detention can be "a potential solution to a pressing societal problem." The Act only applied to a specific list of serious offenses, placed heavy burdens on the government to prove that the arrestee posed significant threats to others, and did not prevent the accused from enjoying a speedy trial. The Court also dismissed Salerno's argument that the Act violated the Excessive Bail Clause of the Eighth Amendment.

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UNITED STATES v. SALERNO. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 25 November 2014. <http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1986/1986_86_87>.
UNITED STATES v. SALERNO, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1986/1986_86_87 (last visited November 25, 2014).
"UNITED STATES v. SALERNO," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed November 25, 2014, http://www.oyez.org/cases/1980-1989/1986/1986_86_87.