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California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed a landmark bill to overhaul the state’s money-bail system, replacing it with one that grants judges greater power to decide who should remain incarcerated ahead of trial.
The two-year effort fulfills a pledge made by Brown last year when he stalled negotiations over the ambitious legislation, saying he would continue to work with lawmakers and the state’s top Supreme Court justice on the right approach to change the system. The new law puts California at the forefront of a national push to stop courts from imposing a heavy financial burden on defendants before they have faced a jury.
“Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly,” he said in a statement.
As much as we would welcome an end to the predatory lending practices of the for-profit bail industry, SB 10 cannot promise a system with a substantial reduction in pretrial detention. Neither can SB 10 provide sufficient due process nor adequately protect against racial biases and disparities that permeate our justice system.
Unfortunately, this amended version of SB 10 is not the model for pretrial justice and racial equity that the ACLU of California envisioned, worked for, and remains determined to achieve. We oppose the bill because it seeks to replace the current deeply-flawed system with an overly broad presumption of preventative detention. This falls short of critical bail reform goals and compromises our fundamental values of due process and racial justice.
originally posted by: norhoc
I agree with you that I don't want to hear " well, don't commit a crime" That is not what is at issue here, what is at issue is that once you commit a crime there ought to be equal justice for all it should not matter whether or not you are poor or rich or famous.
originally posted by: TheRedneck
So pro: the present bail system is out of whack and needs to be reworked. Back to that last example, the murderer could literally buy the ability to run with a mere $500, which he likely stole in the first place if he is a serial offender. But someone who is falsely charged and is generally law-abiding is going to lose $500. That's punishment of the innocent in my book.
originally posted by: generik
i would think the fair way to set bail amounts, is not to leave it to a judges complete discretion. but to set bail amounts as per the value of assets a person has access to and their means. in regards to the seriousness of the crime. so in a case where a person needs currently to come up with $10,000 bail. which for many people is far beyond their means without getting a loan (if they can), since they only make $20,000/year, and rent where they live. for a rich person living in a $5,000,000 mansion and earning say $200,000/year, have cars like Ferraris, should have to pay $6,000,000 or so bail for the same crime.