ST. LOUIS, MO. – St. Louis officials are asking for more time to determine which of the nearly 900 felony detainees should be freed from jail, citing concerns that a judge’s ruling could put potentially dangerous suspects back on the streets.
U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig ruled Tuesday that St. Louis must stop jailing people awaiting trial simply because they can’t afford bail. Her ruling also gave the city one week to hold detention hearings for inmates already behind bars.
The city’s stay request filed Thursday seeks at least 30 days, saying a week isn’t enough time to adequately address hundreds of cases.
City Counselor Julian Bush says most detainees are jailed for serious felonies, including 92 charged with first-degree murder.
Fleissig’s ruling allows inmates to remain jailed if they are deemed dangerous.