Ask The Advocate: 25 mph speed limit? Seriously? And what about bail in murder cases? _lowres

Advocate staff photo by VICKI FERSTEL -- The speed limit on Mollylea Drive has been lowered from 30 mph to 25 mph.

QUESTION: The speed limits on Mollylea Drive between Sherwood Forest Boulevard and Sharp Drive, and also on Red Oaks Drive, were changed from 30 mph to 25 mph. Why? This seems too slow for a major road in town when all the rest are 30 mph.

ANSWER: Ingolf A. Partenheimer, chief traffic engineer for the city-parish, says that the Metro Council on May 28, 2014, voted to change the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph on all residential streets within recognized subdivisions.

Those speed limits were changed on some 1,500 miles of neighborhood streets without center stripes as a safety measure and at a cost of $300,000 to change all the signs, Advocate staff writer Rebekah Allen reported from the meeting.

She quoted Matt Watson, a legislative aide for Councilman Ryan Heck, who sponsored the ordinance, as saying traffic calming in residential neighborhoods is the No. 1 constituent complaint.

Murder, they wrote

QUESTION: Why are people who are charged with murder, in any degree, or attempted murder allowed out on bond?

ANSWER: “First it depends on what type of murder,” East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III says.

For first-degree murder, he notes, the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure, article 331, sets forth the circumstances applicable for setting bail in capital offenses.

A. A person charged with a capital offense shall not be admitted to bail if the proof is evident and the presumption great that he is guilty of the crime.

B. When a person charged with a capital offense makes an application for bail, the judge shall hold a hearing.

C. The burden of proof:

(1) Prior to indictment, the burden is on the state to show that the proof is evident and the presumption great that the defendant is guilty of the capital offense.

(2) After indictment, that burden is on the defendant.

“There is no provision for second-degree murder (murder without the death penalty),” Moore says. “Same with attempted murder. Bond is set by the judge after reviewing the probable cause and possibly later after indictment or information provided by prosecutor or defense attorney.”

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