Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
California Lawmakers Consider Proposal to Eliminate Bail
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 6 years ago on
August 17, 2018

Share

SACRAMENTO — California would be the first state to completely end bail for defendants awaiting trial under a proposal unveiled Thursday that would create a new system to instead jail people based on their risk level.

We have baked into our law a system that punishes people, that takes away their liberty, that treats them differently just because they have less money.”State Sen. Bob Hertzberg, Van Nuys Democrat who authored the bill
The plan calls for most suspects arrested for nonviolent misdemeanors to be released within 12 hours of being booked, while those facing serious, violent felonies would not be eligible for pretrial release.
Courts and the state’s Judicial Council would have wide latitude to determine whether to release other suspects before trial based on the likelihood they’ll return to court and the danger they pose.
To be released from jail before trial in the current system, many defendants must post bail or property that can be forfeited if they fail to appear in court.
California would be the first state to make such sweeping changes. New Jersey overhauled its pretrial release system in 2017 to dramatically reduce the use of cash bail, although it didn’t ban bail outright.
Assemblyman Rob Bonta, a Democrat from Alameda who co-authored the bill, said the changes would result in fewer people held in jail before trial.

The Bail Industry Argues

The bail industry has argued that eliminating cash bail would take away an essential tool in ensuring defendants show up in court.
The American Civil Liberties Union of California was previously a co-sponsor of the legislation, but took a neutral position because of amendments to the bill. It supports the idea of eliminating bail but wants the bill to include study of the changes to identify racial bias and include stronger protections to ensure due process, said Natasha Minsker, director of the ACLU’s California Center for Advocacy and Policy.
The amended bill passed out of an Assembly committee Thursday and now heads to the Assembly floor. It needs approval from both houses of the Legislature and a signature from the governor to become law. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon and Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins have both identified bail reform as a top priority.
The proposal will likely cost hundreds of millions of dollars each year to fund new jobs in the judiciary to conduct the risk assessment process, Hertzberg said. Lawmakers are slated to consider a $15 million appropriation this year to train people ahead of implementation.
Under SB10, suspects would be categorized as having high, medium or low risk of failing to appear in court, endangering public safety or committing a new crime. The determination would be based on the charges, criminal record, missed court appearances in the past three years, and other factors.

Asking Victims if a Suspect Should Be Detained

Additionally, prosecutors would be required to ask victims whether a suspect should be detained, which would also be considered.
Low risk people would generally be released before trial, although they may be subject to some nonmonetary conditions to ensure public safety and their return to court. The Judicial Council, a rulemaking organization run by the chief justice, will determine what options courts have when setting pretrial release conditions.
Local courts would have broad discretion over whether to release people deemed a medium risk.
Officials would need to decide whether someone deemed a low or medium risk should be released before trial within 24 hours after the person is booked with a potential 12-hour extension.
High risk suspects would not be eligible for pretrial release. Some drug and alcohol charges, restraining order violations, past violations of pretrial release conditions and other factors could also make someone ineligible for pretrial release.

DON'T MISS

Smokey Robinson, Anthony Jeselnik, and Brit Floyd Are Top Choices for Father’s Day Weekend

DON'T MISS

This Shy Sweetheart Was Dumped in a Parking Lot with Her Siblings

DON'T MISS

Fresno City Attorney’s Wage Theft Unit Targets Valley Children’s Hospital

DON'T MISS

Fresno Police Chief Balderrama on Paid Leave, City Manager Says

DON'T MISS

Konstadinos T. Moros Discusses Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Firearms Amendment on Unfiltered

DON'T MISS

US Inflation Eases in May, Indicating Potential Relief from Price Pressures

DON'T MISS

Over 200 Rockets Launched from Lebanon Following Israeli Strike on Hezbollah Commander

DON'T MISS

Rep. Costa Blasts GOP House For Holding AG Merrick Garland in Contempt

DON'T MISS

Is California’s $20 Minimum Wage to Blame for Loss of 10,000 Fast-Food Jobs?

DON'T MISS

Balderrama: ‘I Plan on Leading This Police Department to Even Greater Heights’

UP NEXT

New Pro-Palestinian Protests at UCLA Lead to Dozens of Arrests

UP NEXT

Federal Appeals Court Backs California’s Ban on Gun Shows at County Fairs

UP NEXT

California Doctors Rally for Ballot Measure to Increase State Medicaid Funding

UP NEXT

NBA Legend and Logo Jerry West Dies at 86

UP NEXT

Shaver Lake Drowning Victim Identified by Sheriff’s Office

UP NEXT

Cold Stone Creamery Could Shell out Cash for Not Putting Pistachios in Pistachio Ice Cream

UP NEXT

California Sits on Millions That Could Boost Wage Theft Response

UP NEXT

Hunter Biden Convicted on All Three Felony Counts in Federal Gun Trial

UP NEXT

A Lost Credit Card and $7 Cheeseburger Reignites CA’s Debate Over Excessive Bail

UP NEXT

CHP Bust Yields 10 Pounds of Fentanyl Powder, Two Arrests

Fresno Police Chief Balderrama on Paid Leave, City Manager Says

15 hours ago

Konstadinos T. Moros Discusses Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Firearms Amendment on Unfiltered

16 hours ago

US Inflation Eases in May, Indicating Potential Relief from Price Pressures

17 hours ago

Over 200 Rockets Launched from Lebanon Following Israeli Strike on Hezbollah Commander

17 hours ago

Rep. Costa Blasts GOP House For Holding AG Merrick Garland in Contempt

17 hours ago

Is California’s $20 Minimum Wage to Blame for Loss of 10,000 Fast-Food Jobs?

18 hours ago

Balderrama: ‘I Plan on Leading This Police Department to Even Greater Heights’

18 hours ago

Wired Wednesday: Clovis Raises Water Development Fee by 105%. Impact on Homebuyers?

19 hours ago

As Californians’ Stance on Crime Hardens, Republicans Try to Regain Relevance

20 hours ago

Lawsuit Claims Valley Children’s Paid On-Call Employees Less Than Minimum Wage

Smokey Robinson, Anthony Jeselnik, and Brit Floyd Are Top Choices for Father’s Day Weekend

There’ll be an assortment of events you can do with your dad this Father’s Day Weekend. R&B singer Smokey Robinson, comedian...

2 hours ago

2 hours ago

Smokey Robinson, Anthony Jeselnik, and Brit Floyd Are Top Choices for Father’s Day Weekend

3 hours ago

This Shy Sweetheart Was Dumped in a Parking Lot with Her Siblings

Fresno City Attorney’s Wage Theft Unit Targets Valley Children’s Hospital

15 hours ago

Fresno Police Chief Balderrama on Paid Leave, City Manager Says

16 hours ago

Konstadinos T. Moros Discusses Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Firearms Amendment on Unfiltered

17 hours ago

US Inflation Eases in May, Indicating Potential Relief from Price Pressures

17 hours ago

Over 200 Rockets Launched from Lebanon Following Israeli Strike on Hezbollah Commander

17 hours ago

Rep. Costa Blasts GOP House For Holding AG Merrick Garland in Contempt

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend