In State v. Barton, the Washington Supreme Court examined the mandate found in Article I, section 20 of the Washington State Constitution that criminal defendants “shall be bailable by sufficient sureties.” The Court interpreted the phrase to mean that a criminal defendant has the right to make bail by using a surety, i.e., a third party guarantor, should he or she be charged with a bailable offense; the trial court cannot require the defendant to post bail “in cash or other security” without allowing the alternative of posting bail through a third-party arrangement.
In State v. Homan, the Washington Supreme Court (7-2) disagreed with the Court of Appeals’ conclusion that there was insufficient evidence supporting the defendant’s conviction of child luring. The defendant had challenged his conviction, arguing that the evidence was insufficient for conviction and that RCW 9A.40.090 (Washington’s luring statute) is unconstitutionally overbroad in violation of the First Amendment. The Court of Appeals accepted the defendant’s first argument and did not address the second. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals on the issue of the sufficiency of the evidence, but remanded the case to the Court of Appeals for a determination of whether RCW 9A.40.090 is unconstitutionally overbroad. The Court concluded that the First Amendment issue merited additional briefing and argument. In dissent, Justices Owen and Johnson were ready to reach the issue and thought the statute was not overbroad.