Pennsylvania Judge Hits Lancaster Rioters With $1 Million Bails

There has been a controversy over the refusal of some in the media to use the word “rioters,” but one judge clearly does not see anything nuanced in the actions of those arrested rioting in Lancaster, Pennsylvania last week. Magisterial District Judge Bruce A. Roth set bail for nine of the defendants at $1 million each.  I personally view that bail as excessive under controlling case law.

Ricardo Munoz, 27, had a history of violence and mental illness, including past knife attacks. He was shot when he charged officers with a knife.  Rioting later broke out in Lancaster.

WARNING GRAPHIC VIDEO: Lancaster police fatally shoot knife-wielding man

Twelve adults were arrested – Jamal Shariff Newman, 24; Barry Jones, 30; Frank Gaston, 43; Yoshua Dwayne Montague, 23; Matthew Modderman, 31; Talia Gessner, 18; Kathryn Patterson, 20; Taylor Enterline, 20; T-Jay Fry, 28; Dylan Davis, 28; Lee Alexander Wise, 29; Jessica Marie Lopez, 32 – for crimes ranging from arson to rioting to institutional vandalism to criminal conspiracy. Montague was charged with illegal possession of a firearm.

Nine were hit with the $1 million bail.

The Eighth Amendment states “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”  The Court ruled in Stack v. Boyle, 342 U.S. 1 (1951), the Court ruled that bail cannot be set higher than an amount that is reasonably likely to ensure the defendant’s appearance at trial. Chief Justice Vinson stated:

“It is not denied that bail for each petitioner has been fixed in a sum much higher than that usually imposed for offenses with like penalties and yet there has been no factual showing to justify such action in this case…Such conduct would inject into our own system of government the very principles of totalitarianism which Congress was seeking to guard against in passing the statute under which petitioners have been indicted.”

I doubt that this bail would be found reasonable for all nine defendants, if any, on appeal.  The court was clearly sending a message but bail in not an appropriate vehicle for such messages.

108 thoughts on “Pennsylvania Judge Hits Lancaster Rioters With $1 Million Bails”

  1. CNN Anderson Cooper hosting Joe Biden townhall tonight. Biden is lying thru his fake teeth over and over yet Cooper says nothing.

    Here’s just one big fat outrageous lie re covid: Biden said if Trump had done his job right all the dead people would still be alive.

    Biden actually said: “all the dead people would still be alive” !!!! Not one word from CNN moderator. And on and on it went all night.

    CNN is beyond a joke.

  2. Professor Turley, it’s disingenuous to pretend that Hollywood hasn’t been raising 10% of leftist rioters’ bail routinely ever since they’ve financed America’s Red Terror this year. Under such arrangements I seriously doubt the people posting that percentage of bail expect to be paid back when the rioters whose bali they’ve financed fail to appear for trial. If nothing else, Organizing for Action still probably has a billion-dollar campaign war chest this year.

  3. I always hate it when I have to agree with a person who is known to be a liberal but I have to agree that the bail is excessive. It definitely sends a message and I have to agree that courts pre trial are no place for messages. However, releasing people charged with rioting and related charges ROR is equally offensive. Allowing third parties to pay the bondsman 10% of any bail defeats the purpose of bail to insure a court appearance. I support hefty bails that will insure court appearance and I would also support legislation to require the defendant or his immediate family to be the only person/’s allowed to put up the 10% for a bondsman. or perhaps requiring the defendant to post 50% of the actual bail…but letting these anarchists (innocent as they may be until proven guilty) is inviting continued anarchy!

    and by the way Professor, where is your essay on the 2nd Circuits overturning of the 3 JUdge panel on Flynn. I’d love to hear your thoughts

    1. James this is fine in theory but in practice judges send a message with bail day in and day out in every jurisdiction nationwide. Whistling past the graveyard to worry about that now

  4. The surreptitious insurrection “cat” was let out of the bag by the “Ho”-lly ineligible Harris:

    1. @George … and let’s not forget in Obama’s convention speech he said “he was passing the mantel to Harris,” not Biden who is the presidential candidate but rather Harris. And since Biden doesn’t seem capable of answering questions without a teleprompter, he certainly won’t be capable of making tough decisions, formulating policy. There’s no doubt in my mind that Harris will be running the show with Biden as the figurehead.

      1. java this is until Joe retires due to medical problem which is currently being hidden from the American people

        hideen unsuccessfully that is

        It’s ok guys, no problem! We got it. If you want Kamala, vote Joe! Trump v Kamala is the contest. Everyone gets it. Make your choice.

        1. Kurtz, since it is now the Harris Biden ticket:

          Kamala Harris Promoted Fund That Bailed Out Man Accused Of Raping A Child
          A bail fund supported by Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris was found to be providing financial support to a series of alleged criminals facing decades in prison for heinous crimes, including one man accused of raping an eight-year-old child. …

          Kelly was found in violation of his bail one week after his arrest and still faces an active felony warrant for his arrest. …

          democrats provide us with such interesting candidates. One with dementia and the back up a promoter of rape.

        2. Kurtz, I should have added this about Biden and his corruption.

          Treasury flagged foreign money flowing to Hunter Biden-tied firms as ‘suspicious’

          A Treasury Department agency that polices financial threats such as money laundering flagged several foreign transactions to Hunter Biden-connected businesses as “suspicious” during the end of the Obama administration and the beginning of the Trump administration. …

          In February 2016, the Latvian government sent a warning to Ukrainian prosecutors that several payments from Burisma to an account in New York controlled by Hunter Biden’s Rosemont Seneca Bohai firm appeared suspicious, according to a copy of the letter obtained by Just the News and Latvian authorities. …

          One of those involved the sale of an iconic American auto parts manufacturer called Henniges in Michigan, in which Hunter Biden’s firm helped a Chinese military aircraft maker acquire a controlling stake in 2015. The transaction was approved by the Obama administration despite the facts that the Chinese firm had been sanctioned five prior times by the U.S. government for nefarious activity and that less than 15 months prior one of the Chinese firm’s subsidiaries was placed on a black list by the U.S. government for ties to the Chinese military. …

          This is just one of Biden’s corruption scandles now coming out that benefited our enemy and our enemy’s military.


    America is in a condition of hysteria, incoherence, chaos, anarchy and rebellion.

    President Abraham Lincoln seized power, neutralized the legislative and judicial branches and ruled by executive order and proclamation to “Save the Union.”

    President Donald Trump must now seize power, neutralize the legislative and judicial branches and rule by executive order and proclamation to “Save the Republic.”

  6. Turley, you’re riding the wrong horse in this race.

    Bail is neither a “fine” nor a “punishment,” so those two clauses of the 8th don’t apply. Further, in this case, “Stack” is not the “controlling case law.” The Salerno decision controls [United States v. Salerno, 481 U.S. 739 (1987)], a case that upheld the “The Bail Reform Act.” If, as Salerno established, the government can prove that a defendant poses a credible threat to the community, he can be denied bail. Mutatis mutandis for high bail.

    Defendants might try to argue the facts of the case, viz., that they do not pose a threat to the community. However, given their actions, I suspect they’d be laughed out of court.

  7. As an old friend once told me, you can beat the rap but you can’t beat the ride. I hope it bankrupts all of them

    1. Many turds like this are penniless and will qualify for state-paid lawyer programs.

      Then there is also the subversive group NLG which has a bail and free lawyer program which has been doling out the benefits.

      Gee, one wonders who is on the NLG donors list. Anybody want to bet they’re downstream from George Soros? FBI should check it out. Racketeering

        1. It’s interesting how the global octopus of international finance Geo Soros is a financier of such left wing outfits. He is a modern day Jacob Schiff. Schiff directed his financing house Kuhn and Loeb to underwrite bonds for the Kerensky government because he hated the Tsar. Trotsky courted his assistance too.

          “Soros funds the following legal organizations, which provide significant assistance to “immigrants’ rights” even though they also deal with other issues.

          1. The American Civil Liberties Union

          2. The National Lawyers Guild


  8. I have substituted the word that Malcolm used for Blacks do to this Blogs moderation protocol.
    “The worst enemy that the Blacks have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Blacks and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Blacks have. If the Black wasn’t taken, tricked or deceived by the white liberal, then Blacks would get together and solve our own problems. I only cite these things to show you that in America, the history of the white liberal has been nothing but a series of trickery designed to make Blacks think that the white liberal was going to solve our problems. Our problems will never be solved by the white man.”. Malcolm X

    1. White guilt. Did LBJ’s War On Poverty support the formation of traditional Black families? I think not. I’m sure there were plenty of good intentions to make things better – but it wasn’t’ good for the Black family. I’m more inclined to point to pre-pandemic black unemployment getting down to 5.3% and what that means to the Black family. So I Agree, white liberals don’t have the answer.

  9. Considering it leaves plenty of leeway to be reduce AND establish a new standard for these types of felonies excepting murder and to set a new standard under our badly inflated and devalued dollar especially for what was describe as scions of the idle rich.

    The main reason is the old standards have no relationship to the new economy savaged under the left, recovered and recovering again under the Constitutional Centrist without going so far as a full swing from socialist deviants to what is for some reason called conservative but should be called Constitutionalism.

    As a former member fo the active duty military now retired I would like to see courts martial for the commissioned ranks as well. I refer to the recent disgusting comments encouraging breaking the oath of office and in doing so violating the oath of office.

    I would remind everyone the oath calls for loyalty to The Constitution and doesn’t give anyone in the military leeway to disobey or ignore like some bit Chicago ham’n’egger ACLueless

  10. I have seen white “racists” denied bail on non-violent criminal charges before. More than once. Some “White privilege” for them.

    It’s good to see the dangerous rioters get a high bail. Good for society and law and order.

  11. This is NOT an excessive amount for bail. Soros funded groups can easily afford this amount and the judge knows it too. Good for him!

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