Judge deprives State due process by granting bail without fiscal's chance to show evidence

In any event, since the prosecutor sent in his motion at 9:35 a.m., shortly after the judge had terminated the hearing at 9:15 a.m., respondent judge should have granted the motion and in the meantime withheld the action on the bail petition. This was the prudent thing for respondent to do, considering that the charge in the case before her was for murder and, therefore, whether the accused should be granted bail depended on the relative strength of the prosecution's evidence against him. But what evidence could respondent judge consider if she did not give the prosecution a reasonable opportunity to present its evidence? Indeed, the State is entitled to due process as much as the accused. The claim that dispatch in the grant of bail to the accused was justified because he was ill and his life was endangered by confinement was never seriously looked into. Respondent simply relied on the affidavit of the Chief of Police for her finding that the accused was seriously ill without even trying to ascertain from what illness he was suffering. There was, therefore, simply no justification for respondent's hasty and arbitrary denial of reasonable opportunity to the prosecution to study the evidence in the case. [A.M. No. MTJ-92-731. November 29, 1996]