Natiowide Bail Bonds Company
Natiowide Bail Bonds Company
Natiowide Bail Bonds Company

Bail Bonds, Bail Bondsman, Bail Bond Agents

Call Bail Help Bail Bonds Now!
800-980-BAIL (2245)
bailhelp.comBail History

Written and copyrighted by George Monks

Bail laws in the United States grew out of a long history of English statutes and policies. During the colonial period, Americans relied on the bail structure that had developed in England hundreds of years earlier. When the colonists declared independence in 1776, they no longer relied on English law, but formulated their own policies which closely paralleled the English tradition. The ties between the institution of bail in the United States is also based on the old English system. In attempting to understand the meaning of the American constitutional bail provisions and how they were intended to supplement a larger statutory bail structure, knowledge of the English system and how it developed until the time of American independence is essential.

In medieval England, methods to insure the accused would appear for trial began as early as criminal trials themselves. Until the 13th century, however, the conditions under which a defendant could be detained before trial or released with guarantees that he would return were dictated by the local Sheriffs.x As the regional representative of the crown, the sheriff possessed sovereign authority to release or hold suspects. The sheriffs, in other words, could use any standard and weigh any factor in determining whether to admit a suspect to bail. This broad authority was not always judiciously administered. Some sheriffs exploited the bail system for their own gain. Accordingly, the absence of limits on the power of the sheriffs was stated as a major grievance leading to the Statute of Westminster.xi

The Statute of Westminster in 1275 eliminated the discretion of sheriffs with respect to which crimes would be bailable. Under the Statute, the bailable and non-bailable offenses were specifically listed.xii The sheriffs retained the authority to decide the amount of bail and to weigh all relevant factors to arrive at that amount. The Statute, however, was far from a universal right to bail. Not only were some offenses explicitly excluded from bail, but the statutes' restrictions were confined to the abuses of the sheriffs. The justices of the realm were exempt from its provisions.

Applicability of the statute to the judges was the key issue several centuries later when bail law underwent its next major change. In the early seventeenth century, King Charles I received no funds from the Parliament. Therefore, he forced some noblemen to issue him loans. Those who refused to lend the sovereign money were imprisoned without bail. Five incarcerated knights filed a habeas corpus petition arguing that they could not be held indefinitely without trial or bail. The King would neither bail the prisoners nor inform them of any charges against them. The King's reason for keeping the charges secret were evident: the charges were illegal; the knights had no obligation to lend to the King. When the case was brought before the court, counsel for the knights argued that without a trial or conviction, the petitioners were being detained solely on the basis of an unsubstantiated and unstated accusation. Attorney General Heath contended that the King could best balance the interests of individual liberty against the interests of state security when exercising his sovereign authority to imprison. The court upheld this sovereign prerogative argument.xiii

Parliament responded to the King's action and the court's ruling with the Petition of Right of 1628. The Petition protested that contrary to the Magna Carta and other laws guaranteeing that no man be imprisoned without due process of law, the King had recently imprisoned people before trial "without any cause showed." The Petition concluded that "no freeman, in any manner as before mentioned, be imprisoned or detained..." The act guaranteed, therefore, that man could not be held before trial on the basis of an unspecific accusation. This did not, however, provide an absolute right to bail. The offenses enumerated in the Statute of Westminster remained bailable and non-bailable. Therefore, an individual charged with a non-bailable offense could not contend that he had a legal entitlement to bail.

The King, the courts and the sheriffs were able to frustrate the intent of the Petition of Right through procedural delays in granting the writs of habeas corpus. In 1676, for example, when Francis Jenkes sought a writ of habeas corpus concerning his imprisonment for the vague charge of "sedition," it was denied at first because the court was "outside term," and later because the case was not calendared; furthermore, when the court was requested to calendar the case it refused to do so. In response to the rampant procedural delays in providing habeas corpus as evidenced by Jenkes Case,xv Parliament passed the Habeas Corpus Act of 1677. The act strengthened the guarantee of habeas corpus by specifying that a magistrate:

shall discharge the said Prisoner from his Imprisonment taking his or their Recognizance, with one or more Surety or Sureties, in any Sum according to their discretion, having regard to the Quality of the Prisoner and Nature of the offense, for his or their Appearance in the Court of the King's bench...unless it shall appear...that the Party (is)...committed...for such Matter or offenses for which by law the Prisoner is not Bailable.xvi

By requiring early designation of the cause for arrest, the Habeas Corpus Act provided a suspect with knowledge that the alleged offense was either bailable or not. The Statute of Westminster remained the primary definition of what offenses would be eligible for bail.

Although the Habeas Corpus Act improved administration of bail laws, it provided no protection against excessive bail requirements. Even if a suspect was accused of a bailable offense and therefore was entitled to some bail, he could still be detained if the financial condition of release was exorbitantly high. As evidence of this abuse reached Parliament, it responded with the English bill of Rights of 1689. In the Preamble, the bill accused the King of attempting "to subvert...the laws and liberties of the kingdom: in the "excessive bail hath been required of persons committed in criminal cases, to elude the benefit of the laws made for the liberty of the Subjects."xvii The Bill of Rights proposed to remedy the situation by declaring "that excessive bail ought not to be required."xviii Thus, the precursor of the Eighth Amendment in the U.S. Constitution was drafted to prevent those accused of bailable offenses from unreasonable bail requirements. It did not alter the categories of bailable crimes found in the separate Statute of Westminster and certainly did not guarantee a right to bail.

The language of the English Bill of Rights was only one part of the bail system developed through many years of English law. As Caleb Foote has explained and this analysis recounts, English protection against unjustifiable detention contained three essential elements: first, offenses were categorized as bailable or not bailable by statutes beginning with Westminster I which also placed limits on which judges and officials could effect the statue; second, habeas corpus procedures were developed as an effective curb on imprisonment without specific changes; and third, the excessive bail clause of the 1689 Bill of Rights protected against judicial officers who might abuse bail policy by setting excessive financial conditions for release. English law never contained an absolute right to bail. Bail could always be denied when the legislature determined certain offenses were unbailable. Most of the history of bail law after Westminster I was an attempt to improve the efficiency of existing law and especially to grant the suspect a meaningful chance to satisfy bail conditions when he had committed those offenses that the legislature had declared bailable.

In colonial America, bail law was patterned after the English law. While some colonies initiated their own laws which were very similar to English statutes, others simply guaranteed their subjects the same protections guaranteed to British citizens. When the colonies became independent in 1776, however, they could no longer simply insure the protections of English law. Accordingly, the colonies enacted specific bail laws. Typical of the early American bail laws were those enacted in Virginia perpetuating the bail system as it had evolved in England. Section 9 of Virginia's Constitution in 1776 declared simply that "excessive bail ought not to be required…"xix This constitutional provision was supplemented in 1785 with a statute which eliminated judges; discretion to grant bail by specifying that: those shall be let to bail who are apprehended for any crime not punishable in life or limb...But if a crime be punishable by life or limb, or if it be manslaughter and there be good cause to believe the party guilty thereof, he shall not be admitted to bail."xx Thus the Virginia laws closely paralleled the English system. Statutes defined which offenses were bailable while the Constitution protected against abuses of those definitions. In fact, the clause in the Virginia Constitution was identical to the one in the English Bill of Rights which had been included to prevent judges from unreasonable holding those accused of bailable offenses by setting bail so high as to be unobtainable. Other State constitutions similarly proscribed excessive bail for bailable offenses in order to prevent this method of thwarting the bail laws passed by the legislatures: for example, section 29 of the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 provided that "Excessive bail shall not be exacted for bailable offenses."xxi

With James Madison designated to prepare an initial draft for Bill of Rights in 1789, the Virginia constitution, often referred to as the Virginia Bill of Rights, became the model for the first ten amendments that passed congress in 1789 and were ratified in 1791. The Eighth Amendment in this Bill of Rights was taken virtually verbatim from Section 9 of the Virginia Constitution and provided that "Excessive bail shall not be required..." The only comment on the clause during the congressional debates was made by the perplexed Mr. Livermore: "The clause seems to have no meaning to it, I do not think it necessary. What is meant by the term excessive Bail…!"xxii

Indeed, it seems the drafters thought relatively little about the meaning of the bail clause; the clause was so rooted in American and English history that to most, the meaning was obvious. Like the identical clause in the English Bill of Rights and the Virginia Constitution, the Eighth Amendment bail provision was intended to prohibit excessive bail as a means of holding suspects accused of offenses deemed bailable by Congress.

The bail clause in the Eighth Amendment was only one part of the American bail structure.xxiii As in England, the American system also includes guarantees against imprisonment without informing the suspect of his crime. The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, like the English Habeas Corpus Act of 1678, insures that when arrested, a man "be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation" thereby enabling him to demand bail if he has committed a bailable offense. The final part of the American bail structure and the element upon which the Constitution provisions are based is the statutory codification of justice officials' power concerning bail and the categorization of crimes into bailable and nonbailable offenses. The Constitution merely guarantees that excessive bail may not be employed to hold suspects who by law are entitled to bail; similarly the Sixth Amendment enables prisoners to know if they are in fact entitled to bail under the law; it does not give them any right to bail already existing in the law. Thus, the legislature and not the constitution is the real framer of bail law; the constitution upholds and protects against abuse of the system which the legislature creates. This principle was well understood by the Framers of the Bill of rights. In fact, the same Congress that proposed the Eighth Amendment also formulated the fundamental bail statute that remained in force until 1966. This was accomplished in 1789, the same year that the Bill of rights was introduced, when Congress passed the Judiciary Act. The Act specified which types of crime were bailable and set bounds on the judges' discretion in setting bail. Following the tradition of State laws developed during the colonial period which in turn were based on English law,xxiv the Judiciary Act stated that all noncapital offenses were bailable and that in capital offenses, the decision to detain a suspect before trial was left up to the judge:

{U}pon all arrests in criminal cases, bail shall be admitted, except where punishment may be by death, in which cases it shall not be admitted but by the supreme or a circuit court, or by a justice of the supreme court, or a judge of a district court, who shall exercise their discretion therein, regarding the nature and circumstance of the offense, and of the evidence, the usages of law.xxv

The sequence of events in the First Congress pertaining to American bail policy is critical to an understanding of the Framers of the Eighth Amendment and the Judiciary Act of 1789. Only a few days after final passage of the Bill of Rights in Congress on September 21, 1789, and before its final adoption, the First Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789 on September 29, 1789. In fact, these two legislative measures were debated almost concurrently. Considerable debate time was consumed in the House of Representatives over the issue of which should be enacted first, the bill creating a federal judiciary and federal judicial procedures or the amendments to the Constitution. Eventually Madison's point of view that the Bill of Rights should take precedence so that "the independent tribunals of justice will consider themselves...the guardians of those rights"xxvi prevailed. But the same day the House completed the Bill of Rights it proceeded to perfect the Judiciary Act of 1789 which was already approved by the Senate. The two legislative proposals passed each other going and coming between the House and the Senate. This historical footnote illuminated significantly the context in which these measures were debated. They were almost considered simultaneously. Often representatives argued that changes in one measure were unnecessary because the other provided ample protection for vital rights.xxviii This context suggests strongly that the First Congress acted very purposefully in substantially adopting the English system of tripartite protection against bail abuses. The Eighth Amendment prohibition against excessive bail meant that bail may not be excessive in those cases where Congress has deemed it proper to permit bail. The Congress then enacted the Judiciary Act defining what offenses would be bailable. Habeas corpus protection was afforded by Article I of the Constitution.

The argument that the excessive bail clause guarantees a right to bail by necessary implication and that the provision forbidding excessive bail would be meaningless if judges could deny bail altogether in some cases is clearly not valid in this historical context. The same Congress which drafted the Eighth Amendment enacted the Judiciary Act which specifically denied a right to bail to individuals charged with capital offense.

In the context of its legislative history, the Eighth Amendment is illuminated by reading it in conjunction with the Judiciary Act of 1789. The First Congress adopted the Amendment to prevent judges from setting excessive bail in cases prescribed as bailable by Congress. The same legislators then enacted a bill prescribing which offenses would be bailable. The Eighth Amendment, therefore, is not self-executing. It requires legislation creating legal entitlements to bail to give it effect. Recognizing this, the First Congress provided almost simultaneously the legislation that gave the Amendment effect. The First Congress did not choose a strange legal arrangement; it chose precisely the system most familiar to these former English citizens. The First Congress recognized that the Amendment was not intended to limit congressional discretion to determine the cases for which bail would be allowed, but was designed to circumscribe the authority of courts to ignore or circumvent that congressional policy with excessive bail requirements.

The Judiciary Act of 1789 did not differentiate between bail before and after conviction. Not until 1946 in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure was this distinction clearly made. Rule 46 made the 1789 Act's language the standard for release, but left release after conviction pending an appeal or application for certiorari to the judge's discretion regardless of the crime.

In 1966 Congress enacted the first major substantive change in federal bail law since 1789. The Bail Reform Act of 1966 provides that a non-capital defendant "shall...be ordered released pending trial on his personal recognizance" or on personal bond unless the judicial officer determines that these incentives will not adequately assure his appearance at trial.xxviii In that case, the judge must select the least restrictive alternative from a list of conditions designed to guarantee appearance. That list includes restrictions on travel, execution of an appearance bond (refundable when the defendant appears), and execution of a bail bond with a sufficient number of solvent sureties. Individuals charged with a capital offense or who have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing or appeal are subject to a different standard. They are to be released unless the judicial officer has "reason to believe" that no conditions "will reasonably assure that the person will not flee or pose danger to any other person or to the community."

The 1966 Act thus created a presumption for releasing a suspect with as little burden as necessary in order to insure his appearance at trial. Appearance of the defendant for trial is the sole standard for weighing bail decision. In noncapital cases, the Act does not permit a judge to consider a suspect's dangerousness to the community. Only in capital cases or after conviction is the judge authorized to weigh threats to community safety.

This aspect of the 1966 Act drew criticism particularly in the District of Columbia where all crimes formerly fell under the regulation of Federal bail law. In a considerable number of instances, persons accused of violent crimes committed additional crimes while released on their own personal recognizance. Furthermore, these individuals were often released again on nominal bail.

The problems associated with the 1966 Bail Reform Act were considered by the Judicial Council committee to study the Operation of the Bail Reform Act in the Distract of Columbia in May 1969. The committee was particularly bothered by the release of potentially dangerous noncapital suspects permitted by the 1966 law and recommended that even in noncapital cases, a person's dangerousness be considered in determining conditions for release. Congress went along with the ideas put forth in the committee's proposals and changed the 1966 Bail Reform Act as it applied to persons charged with crimes in the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia Court Reform and Criminal Procedure Act of 1970 allowed judges to consider dangerousness to the community as well as risk of flight when setting bail in noncapital cases. The 1970 Act contained numerous safeguards against irrational application of the dangerousness provisions. For instance, an individual could not be detained before trial under the act unless the court finds that (1) there is clear and convincing evidence that he falls into one of the categories subject to detention under the act, (2) no other pretrial release conditions will reasonably assure community safety, and (3) there is substantial probability that the suspect committed the crime for which he has been arrested. This last finding was an overzealous exercise of legislative precaution. The Justice Department testified that the burden of meeting this "substantial probability" requirement was the principal reason cited by prosecutors for the failure over the last 10 years to request pretrial detention hearings under the statute. Such a standard also had the effect of making the pretrial detention hearing a vehicle for pretrial discovery of the Government's case and harassment of witnesses. Moreover, the District of Columbia Court of Appeals in its Edwardsxxix decision strongly suggests that the probable cause standard consistently sustained by the Supreme Court as a basis for imposing "significant restraints on liberty" would be constitutionally sufficient in the context of pretrial detention.

x xi xii Edw. 1. C. 15 In additional to capital offenses, the list included "Thieves openly defamed and known" those "taken for House-burning feloniously done," or those taken for counterfeiting and many other non-capital offenses. xiii "Five Knights Case" or "Proceedings on the Habeas Corpus" brought by Sir Thomas Darnel. 3 St. Fr. 1 (1627). xiv William Duker, "The Right to Bail: An Historical Inquiry" 64, 42, Albany L. Rev. 33 (1977). xv xvi 81 Car. 2 c. 2. xvii W. & M. st 2 c. 2 preamble clause 10. xviii 1 W. & M. st. 2 c. 2. Rights clause 10. xix 7 American Charters 3813 (F. Thorpe ed.. 1909) xx 12 Va. Stat. 185-86 (W. Hening ed.. 1823) xxi 7 American Charters 3813 (F. Thorpe ed..1909) xxii 1 "Annals of Congress" 754 (1789). xxiii Caleb Foote, "The Coming Constitutional Crisis in Bail." 113 Pennsylvania L. Rev. 959. At 968 (1965). Hermine Herta Meyer, "The Constitutionality of Pretrial Detention,: 60 Georgetown L. Rev. 1139 (1972). xxiv Duker. Supra note 14 at 77-83 xxv The Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, 91. xxvi 1 "Annals of Congress" 428, 462 (1789) xxvii Id. At 448. xviii the Bail Reform Act of 1966, 18 U.S.C. 3146 et seq. xxix United States v. Edwards, No. 80-294 (D.C. App. May 8, 1981) (slip opinion). Petition…

RSS Feed Form
 
 Updated News
  • Kelly defends Trump on casualties, attacks 'selfish' congresswomanWhite House chief of staff John Kelly on Thursday delivered an impassioned defense of President Trump’s outreach to families of four Americans recently killed in Niger.


    3 White Extremists Charged With Attempted Homicide Following Richard Spencer SpeechThree white extremists were arrested and charged with attempted homicide after they got into an argument and fired on a group of people protesting white nationalist Richard Spencer’s speech in Gainesville, Florida, police said Friday.


    Pilots Perform Risky Honor Lap Stunt, Alarming Travelers in TerminalIn a farewell stunt, pilots of an Air Berlin passenger jet taking off from Miami buzzed the tower, in a move seen in the movie "Top Gun."


    Amazing photographs of rare white animals This collection of photographs shows an array of amazing and rare white animals.


    Sonoma Sheriff Battles With ICE Over Misinformation On California WildfiresAs firefighters in Northern California battle ongoing wildfires, the Sonoma County sheriff is facing a different battle: fighting misinformation about the fires.


    CIA Forced to Walk Back Director's StatementRachel Maddow shares video of CIA director Mike Pompeo stating falsely that the U.S. intelligence community's assessment is that Russia's meddling did not affect the outcome of the election. The CIA would later walk that statement back.


    Obama makes a plea to Virginians and signals a way forward for DemocratsFormer President Barack Obama makes an impassioned return to the campaign trail in New Jersey and Virginia.


    8-Year-Old’s Big Brother Details the Horrific Abuse He Suffered from Mom’s Boyfriend Before His DeathIn court on Wednesday, a California teen described the relentless assaults inflicted on his 8-year-old brother for months until, at last, the little boy was dead


    Orionid Meteor Shower 2017: What it is, when it's happening and where to watch itIn several days, stargazers will witness the peak of one of the year's best shooting star displays in the United States.


    Silent Republicans have their reasons. They don't have an excuse.President Trump doesn’t care what happens to the GOP after he’s gone. So why aren’t more Republicans separating themselves from him?


    FBI Rescues More Than 80 Children In Nationwide Human Trafficking StingThe FBI, along with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, recovered 84 children and arrested 120 suspected traffickers as part of a nationwide initiative to clamp down on the sex trafficking of minors.


    24 Senators Back Latest Health Care Proposal, Offering Hope It Could PassSens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Thursday formally introduced their proposal to shore up the Affordable Care Act’s private insurance markets.


    Uranus will be visible to the naked eye tonight -- here's how to see itGrab a pair of binoculars and your lamest jokes because Uranus will be visible to the naked eye on Thursday night.


    Cub Scout Ousted From Den After Asking Politician Tough QuestionsA cub scout in Colorado has been cast out of his den after he asked a state legislator pointed questions about racially charged comments she made about African-Americans in 2013 and a gun bill she co-sponsored.


    Man's fingertip torn off as wild boar rampage puts German town under siegeTwo aggressive wild boars attacked and injured several people in the small German town of Heide on Friday morning, tearing through the town centre in a rampage which lasted for hours. Four people were injured, and one man’s fingertip was torn off, according to police reports. Others suffered leg injuries, as they were hit by the fully-grown animals in the northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein.  The boars tore through the streets and ran through the market square, before making their way into a local bank branch, according to police, who issued a warning at around 9am urging people to avoid the town centre and to stay in their houses or in shops. One eyewitness saw a woman lying on the ground, screaming, after her trousers had been torn, according to German radio station NDR 1 Welle Nord. Another said they were "completely bewildered" and that the boars had come "out of nowhere".  After a large-scale operation, during which police and hunters chased the boar with stun rifles, one was killed by huntsman Uwe Ingwersen at 11am - two hours after the animals were first spotted - with a targeted head shot. The second ran away from the centre and police say it is now outside the city area.  Terror in Ditmarschen���� pic.twitter.com/mheLOKa5RK— Daggi (@danishkeks) October 20, 2017 Customers in the bank, which was invaded by the boars, were evacuated through open windows using ladders, according to police reports. Several cars were also damaged. Wild boar still roam the forests of Germany and are seen as a menace by much of German society. Marcus Börner, press officer at the Country Hunting Association, told the Schleswig-Holstein newspaper that it is highly stressful for boars, which have spread extensively in the state in recent decades, to be caught between walls and among so many people, causing them to become aggressive.  Earlier this year, a herd of wild boars attacked several people, injuring three, near Berlin's Tegel airport. Local media reported that it took authorities 18 shots to down one 200-kilogram boar, while the rest of the herd escaped.


    A liberal is a conservative whose house just floodedSome Trump voters, after their towns were flooded by Hurricane Harvey, are beginning to reconsider their conviction that climate change has no scientific basis.


    Fire destroys landmark hotel in Myanmar's largest city, kills oneOne person was killed on Thursday in a massive fire that destroyed one of Yangon's best-known hotels, sending dark smoke billowing over the center of Myanmar's largest city and triggering an hours-long battle to put out the flames. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire, which broke out around 3:20 a.m. at the teak-and-stone Kandawgyi Palace Hotel overlooking a picturesque inner-city lake, authorities told Reuters. An unidentified body was found in a guest room and two people were injured, said Htay Lwin, a spokesman of hotel owner Htoo Group.


    Man Admits to Drowning 6-Year-Old Nephew Who Had Autism: PoliceLittle Dayvid Pakko was drowned in a bathtub, then hidden in a dumpster, police said.


    In emotional interview, Gold Star parents say of Trump: 'It's not about a call or a letter'The parents of a United States Army specialist killed in Syria in May said Thursday they hadn’t received any acknowledgment from President Trump, despite his claim to have called “virtually” all families of fallen U.S. soldiers.


    School Investigating Video Of Cheerleaders Giggling And Chanting Racial SlursA disturbing video featuring five white teens gleefully taking turns chanting a racial slur has launched an investigation in a Utah school district.


    SitRep: U.S. Warships on Alert; Taliban Rip Through Afghan ForcesSitRep: U.S. warships ready near Korea; Deadly new Taliban offensive


    Harvey Weinstein being investigated by LAPD for alleged rape in 2013Harvey Weinstein is being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department for an alleged rape that occurred in 2013, police Captain Billy Hayes confirmed on Thursday.


    22 Greek Recipes That'll Transport You To The Aegean


    A SoCal Brunch Spot Was Caught Using Popeyes Chicken In Its DishesOne trendy restaurant is bringing a whole new meaning to the term “sourced locally.”


    Mars Has a Mysterious "Tail," According to New Find From NASA SpacecraftSo wonderfully weird.


    Sadness down under as final Holden marks end of Australian car industryShortly after midday today, a red Commodore marked the end of 69 years of Holden manufacture in Australia – and to countless enthusiasts, it was an occasion as sad as it was once virtually unthinkable. There is a select group of cars that transformed their respective nations' concept of mass motoring and the original 48-215 ‘FX’ certainly ranks alongside the Mini, 2CV or Fiat 600 in this regard. This was mass-market transport made in Australia, for Australia. Holden’s first involvement with the motor industry was as a coachbuilder and in 1924, it became the exclusive supplier of car bodies to General Motors. Seven years later it became a part of the GM empire and as early as 1936 the division’s MD Laurence Hartnett was planning a ‘wholly Australian car’ in place of the locally-built Chevrolets, Pontiacs and Vauxhalls. Towards the end of the Second World War, the government was keen to promote a locally-designed car and General Motors already had the basis of a suitable model in the form of a Chevrolet project that had been rejected as too compact for US motorists. A small group of prototypes were extensively tested and on the 29th November 1948 Ben Chifley, the then Prime Minister, unveiled the new 48-215.  It was not a vehicle that represented a major technological advance and its list of standard fittings was low even by the standards of the day; no sidelights, carpet, door armrest, heater or even direction indicators of any form, one sun visor and a solitary tail lamp. Nor was the new Holden especially cheap as a price of £A675 represented nearly two years wages for the average worker but this did not deter 18,000 people from paying a deposit without having seen a 48-215 in the metal. Such was the demand that the company was soon obliged to issue a booklet entitled Holden Owners Give Reasons Why Holden is Worth Waiting For. Motoring picture of the day And perhaps the major reason for the impact of the FX on the post-war motorist was that it offered the ideal combination of advantages in a car that was launched at precisely the right moment. The brochures promised an engine designed for local conditions the 2.1-litre six-cylinder unit was capable of "80 miles per hour and 30 miles per gallon" with a smoothness not found in such rivals as the four-cylinder Austin A70 Hampshire. It was also flexible enough to propel the Holden from a crawl to cruising speed with the steering column-mounted lever in third gear. Holden intended that the FX would appeal to rural motorists and urban drivers alike, with suspension that could cope with the country’s many unsurfaced roads, and for the Sydney or Melbourne suburbanite, the ‘Aerobilt’ body was smart and offered room for a quintet of adult passengers: ‘you don’t climb in or scrabble out – you step in with ease and dignity. A great boon for elderly people and women."  There was also a sense of robustness that was lacking in some of its competitors. Clive James once observed of the Standard Vanguard that it was a toss-up whether the ‘chromium trim would rust through before the exhaust pipe fell onto the road’.  Above all, this was ‘Australia’s Own Car’, which automatically set it apart from any other car that bore an American or British marque and ten years later, the Lion and Stone badge adorned 40 percent of new models. The name of Holden had now entered the lexicon of a nation’s popular culture and the idea that in 2013 the company’s chief would state that ‘building cars in this country is just not sustainable’ would have been inconceivable. The moment when that last Commodore leaves the production line is not only the closing of a chapter in GM’s history – in many respects it is the end of a country’s automotive dream, one that began nearly 70 years ago.


    Experts: Hard for jurors to convict when cops are on trialTULSA, Okla. (AP) — The hard-won conviction of a white former Oklahoma police officer who fatally shot his daughter's unarmed black boyfriend shows the difficulty prosecutors have in convincing jurors to put someone who carries a badge and a gun behind bars, legal experts said Thursday.


    Trump demands to know: Who paid for the 'Trump dossier'?President Trump is wondering who paid for the controversial dossier that made salacious but unverified claims about his ties to Russia a day after executives from a firm that helped produce it refused to answer questions from the House Intelligence Committee.


    Gainesville Mayor On Richard Spencer: 'There's No Question That He Is A Terrorist Leader'President Donald Trump says some white supremacist protesters are “very fine people.”


    TV Star Launches Bid For Russia's PresidencyRussian television star and journalist Ksenia Sobchak announced Wednesday she will run for president in the country’s 2018 election ― a bid that may spark voter interest but hinder efforts to unseat Vladimir Putin.


    What 'Me Too' Can Teach Men Who Are Willing to ListenHarvard University social scientist Mario L. Small on what men can learn from the 'Me too' phenomenon


    Woman Says 'American Horror Story' Motivated Her to Murder 81-Year-Old GrandfatherBrittney Jade Dwyer, 20, allegedly stabbed her grandfather after he showed her family photos.


    Video undermines White House attack on Rep. Wilson over condolence callsOn Thursday, White House chief of staff John Kelly criticized Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., for saying President Trump had been insensitive to the widow of a slain soldier killed in Niger when he told her that her husband “knew what he signed up for.” Kelly went on to claim that at a 2015 FBI building dedication in Miami, the congresswoman boasted about securing funding for the building. But video of the 2015 dedication has surfaced, and it doesn’t support Kelly’s claim.


    The Funniest Tweets From Parents This WeekKids may say the darndest things, but parents tweet about them in the funniest ways.


    Three million Americans carry a handgun daily: studyAs many as three million people in the United States carry a loaded handgun daily, while nine million do so at least once a month, according to a US study Thursday. Most of these gun-toting Americans are young men, live in the south and say personal protection is a top reason for walking around with a deadly weapon, said the report in the American Journal of Public Health. "It was important to study handgun carrying because about 90 percent of all firearm homicides and nonfatal firearm crimes for which the type of firearm is known are committed with a handgun," said lead author Ali Rowhani-Rahbar, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Washington School of Public Health.


    Woman charged with beating teacher she says choked her childPITTSBURGH (AP) — A woman who claims a public school teacher choked her daughter while disciplining her has been charged with following the teacher after school, hitting her with a brick and then pulling her from her car and beating her.


    Public Enemy's Chuck D: Donald Trump Is 'The Epitome Of A White Supremacist'Chuck D did not hold back with his latest criticism of Donald Trump, calling the president “the epitome of a white supremacist.”


    Iranian military chief visits frontline near AleppoIran's military chief of staff visited a frontline position near the Syrian city of Aleppo, a military news outlet run by the Lebanese group Hezbollah reported on Friday, during a visit that has underlined Tehran's deep military role in Syria. General Mohammad Baqeri visited the position with a number of Iranian officers, according to the report, which was accompanied by photos showing Baqeri looking at a map and peering through binoculars. Neighboring Israel has expressed deep concern over Iran's role in Syria, where Iranian fighters and Iran-backed groups such as Hezbollah have played a major role fighting in support of President Bashar al-Assad.


    NATO vs. Russia: Why Europe's Greatest Risk for War Is in the BalticsSince 2014, the NATO alliance has made numerous posture changes on its eastern flank to deter Russia. Essentially, the alliance’s goal is to change Russian behavior, but how does one measure such policy modifications in Moscow? “Despite its overall military advantages, NATO faces an imbalance in conventional capabilities in regions bordering Russia, such as the Baltics,” reads the report.


    Bride Plans First Look Photo Shoot After Grandma's Cancer DiagnosisBride-to-be Brittany Marr received some devastating news last December: her grandma Ellen Haynes had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that had spread to her bones.


    Mariah Carey's ex James Packer finally broke his silence on their splitAustralian billionaire James Packer is finally opening up about his infamous relationship with Mariah Carey and their subsequent breakup.


    'I Wish I Had Taken Responsibility': Quentin Tarantino Knew About Harvey Weinstein's Inappropriate BehaviorThe director said he "marginalized" stories about Weinstein's behavior


    Xi Jinping Has Quietly Chosen His Own SuccessorMeet Chen Miner, the man who has been getting groomed to run China — without anyone in the West seeming to notice.


    Electric autos get high marks for dependability: Consumer ReportsTesting and consumer surveys show electric vehicles are more reliable than internal combustion automobiles, the head of automotive testing for Consumer Reports said Thursday. "Electric cars are very reliable," Jake Fisher said, revealing the latest findings from the magazine's influential auto tests. "Electric vehicles are inherently less complicated than gasoline or hybrid alternatives," he added.


    Jury convicts ex-Oklahoma police officer in 4th murder trialA white former Oklahoma police officer was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the off-duty fatal shooting of his daughter's black boyfriend after jurors in three previous trials couldn't decide whether to find him guilty of murder.


    Tomi Lahren Says Trump Groping The Flag Is #RelationshipGoals. Twitter Disagrees.Tomi Lahren seriously needs to rethink her relationship goals.


    20 Sweet Pumpkins That Are Actually Cakes


    A few militants fight on in Philippine city ripped to shredsMARAWI, Philippines (AP) — Smoke wafted from the smoldering carcasses of buildings and houses, with the dome of a mosque blasted out with holes, as Philippine troops battled Thursday to defeat a final stand by the last dozens of pro-Islamic State group militants in a southern city.


    Toddler Makes Amazing Face On 'Frozen' Ride At Disney WorldWalt Disney World is a gold mine for epic photos ― especially when it comes to those on-ride shots.


    Woman heartbroken after discovering her dog wasn’t euthanised for five months after she bid 'final' farewellA woman who thought she had paid for her dog to be euthanized has been surprised to find out that her dog was kept alive for five months after the procedure. New Jersey woman Keri Levy says that she made the difficult decision to put down the miniature pinscher she had owned for 15 years, but was astonished to receive an anonymous tip five months later that her pup was still alive. “It broke my heart in a way like my heart has never been broken,” Ms Levy told ABC News.