U.S. Constitution: Eighth Amendment
"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed,
nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
The prompt pre-trial release from jail of an arrested person is extremely important for many reasons. Bail allows the defendant to return to work to support himself or herself and his/her family. Quick release on bail helps to minimize the emotional trauma felt by children when a parent is arrested. If the arrest has motivated the defendant to address a drug or alcohol problem, her or she needs access to rehab programs on the outside.
Separate and apart from the human aspects, an incarcerated defendant is at a tremendous disadvantage in the legal arena. Jailed persons sometimes plead guilty to baseless charges if it means release from jail. It is extremely difficult for incarcerated persons to communicate with, and assist, their attorney in preparing the case. Jail telephones are routinely recorded and monitored, making that form of communication dangerous or useless. Despite knowing better, judges often subconsciously treat imprisoned defendants in jail uniforms with less consideration than those released on bail, wearing clean-cut civilian clothing.
Defense Attorneys often need months to properly prepare a case for trial. Witnesses must be interviewed, backgrounds checked, experts retained and briefed, forensic evidence retested, and pretrial motions prepared and litigated. However, having an incarcerated client can cause even the best attorneys to rush their trial preparation and perhaps overlook an important item. Lastly, regardless of the efforts of court personnel, juries always seem to know if a defendant is in-custody during trial, factor jurors often subconsciously consider as pertaining to guilt.