Sunday, 09 May, 2021


California Ends Cash Bail

FILE 2018 California Gov. Jerry Brown will reportedly consider three bills intended to add restrictions on gun ownership in his state California Ends Cash Bail
Kristine Garrett | 30 August, 2018, 13:13

"Senate Bill 10 creates a byzantine maze of court hearings that will ultimately result in greater pretrial incarceration, and at a minimum, new opportunities to incarcerate someone before he/she is determined to have actually committed a crime", says a statement from the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.

SB 10 was approved by the Legislature last week, after a almost two-year push, with largely Democratic support.

Eliminating bail is as much about reducing the jail population and addressing racial disparities in criminal justice as it is about financial concerns, Dooley-Sammuli said.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye praised SB 10 as a "transformative day for our justice system" and thanked the "judges in my Pretrial Detention Reform Work Group to bring about a fair and just solution for all Californians".

The ACLU and California progressives pointed to bail injustices revealed in a New York City Criminal Justice Agency study that found non-felony conviction rates jumped from 50 to 92 percent for those jailed pre-trial, while the felony rate jumped from 59 to 85 percent.

Others felt the law would lead to job losses in the cash-bail industry.

A 2013 study by the Drug Policy Alliance and Luminosity found that almost 40 percent of jail inmates in New Jersey were locked up because they were too poor to afford their bail. A year and a half on, the sky hasn't fallen.

The bill "sets up a system that allows judges almost unlimited discretion to order people accused of crimes, but not convicted and presumptively innocent, to be held in jail with no recourse until their case is resolved", the letter stated. Risk assessment tools will be used instead, to determine if the detained resident has a high flight risk. Federal courts, of course, don't hear most "street crime" cases.

If the California Money Bail Reform Act is used properly, it can help those in poverty and will revolutionize the justice system. "It is expensive, [and] threatening to public safety".

AB 1797 by Assemblyman Marc Levine, D-Marin County, is expected to create a requirement for insurers writing residential property insurance to conduct a replacement cost estimate on an every other year basis. Weber and her allies scaled back the bill last week, removing a provision that would have made it easier to prosecute police who kill civilians, in a bid to shore up political support.

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