California scraps cash bail in move touted as economic fairness

California scraps cash bail in move touted as economic fairness

California's new law is the latest development in the nationwide debate over bail, which many people say unfairly punishes people for being poor.

Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Alameda), a co-author of SB 10, called the signing of the bill a step toward correcting a fundamental injustice.

"Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly", Brown said.

Under the new law, a pretrial assessment would be done by either court employees or a local public agency that has been contracted to determine a defendant's risk. The new law grants broad discretion to judges to hold or release defendants. Does it go too far?

The new law gives judges wide latitude to decide what to do with other suspects based on their likelihood of returning to court and the danger they pose to the public.

The California State Assembly on Tuesday passed what is being described as an historic bill that would serve to eliminate all carbon emissions from the state's electricity system by 2045, and push it to 100 per cent renewables by the same time.

These same arguments have been heard in other states that have undertaken bail reform, notably New Jersey, which all but abolished cash bail previous year.

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A person who is deemed as high risk, including those arrested for violent felonies, will not be released. The Essie Justice Group is comprised of women with incarcerated partners or family members. She said there's not enough protection in the law to ensure it doesn't perpetuate racial bias in the criminal justice system.

Initially, the American Civil Liberties Union sponsored the bill because it could end "predatory lending practices of the for-profit bail industry".

Others, meanwhile, argue it will allow unsafe people to go free and perhaps not return for trial.

Similar numbers in California and other states moving away from cash bail would clinch the case for this reform.

With someone's release now determined by individualized factors including current charges and prior convictions, pretrial freedom is no longer exclusively for the most well-heeled criminal defendants. But if crime rates escalate, for whatever reason, no one should underestimate the political temptation that will gain renewed strength to maximize incarceration again, no matter how unequal, unjust, or remote from the actual causes and consequences of lawbreaking.

California will end the cash bail system in a sweeping reform for the state. Under the bill, such policies would have had to include rules stating that officers must exhaust reasonable alternatives before turning to deadly force, including using verbal warnings and tactics aimed at de-escalating encounters.

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