to reject De la Cruz and Aragon as suretors was not arbitrary.
Despite his financial responsibility, however, there is no
indication that Rodriguez has moral suasion over Batista. In
fact, Rodriguez represented to the government that he has "no
relationship" with Batista and has neither seen nor spoken to
him since Batista moved to New York from Puerto Rico several
Some courts have required that each proposed suretor meet both
the financial and moral suasion requirements — in other words,
that the prospect of losing the cash or property posted give
rise to moral suasion against flight. See, e.g., United States
v. Diaz, No. 98 CR. 1434(CSH), 1998 WL 915896, *2 (S.D.N.Y.
Dec. 30, 1998) (requiring that individual suretor both be
financially responsible and exercise moral suasion); United
States v. Sarivola, No. 94 CR. 236(CSH), 1994 WL 613259, *4
(S.D.N.Y. Nov. 4, 1994) (noting that posting of property alone
is insufficient because loss of defendant's sister's home if
defendant were to flee "would not overly trouble" the
However, it may not always be possible to find individuals
with sufficient assets to post who also may exert moral suasion
over a defendant. A person with moral suasion over the defendant
will be able to influence him to appear in court regardless of
whether the money at stake is put up by a third party.
Therefore, a defendant who presents some individuals with moral
suasion and others who are financially responsible may satisfy
the requirements of bail.
As such, Rodriguez may sign the bond and post that security
and property enumerated above.
In addition, both the number of suretors and amount of bail
required shall be reduced. Although other courts have required
five suretors in similar cases involving substantial evidence of
involvement in large narcotic conspiracies, see, e.g., United
States v. Lopez, No. CR 96 701, 1998 WL 440427 (S.D.N.Y. June
5, 1998), three suretors who meet the standards for financial
responsibility and moral suasion addressed above will be
sufficient to ensure Batista's presence at trial.
As in United States v. Penaranda, No. 00 Cr. 1251(RWS) 2001
WL 125621 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 13, 2001), this case "raises difficult
questions regarding the viability of economic coercion as a
means of assuring a defendant's appearance at trial where the
defendant and his family and friends are of limited means." 2001
WL 125621, at *2. Following the reasoning of Penaranda, the
bail conditions shall be changed as follows: three people, at
least one of whom must exert moral suasion over him, must sign
the bond, which shall be reduced to $150,000.
For the reasons set forth above, proposed suretor Rodriguez
may sign the bond, which shall be reduced to $150,000. A total
of three people, at least one of whom exerts moral suasion over
the defendant, shall be required sign to secure Batista's
It is so ordered.
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