A California court prohibits jailing anyone who can not post bail for being poor

Beginning next week, California judges will have to change the traditional way of setting bail after a state appellate court issued a ruling prohibiting incarceration of anyone who, because they are poor, can not pay a certain amount. and does not represent a danger to society.

The judicial decision of the State Court of Appeals of the First District based in San Francisco, issued on January 25, states that “an accused person can not be imprisoned solely because of poverty . ”

The magistrates raised doubts about the constitutionality of the bond system in California and point out that the common practice of setting bails so high that suspects can not pay it is justified only in those that are considered too dangerous to be released before trial.

The state attorney general, Xavier Becerra , had 30 days to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court of California, but on Tuesday he announced that he would not do so.

“Bail must be based on the danger it represents to the public, not on the dollars in your pocket ,” Becerra said at a press conference in Sacramento.

The magistrates raised doubts about the constitutionality of the bond system in California and point out that the common practice of setting bails so high that suspects can not pay it is justified only in those that are considered too dangerous to be released before trial.

The state attorney general, Xavier Becerra , had 30 days to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court of California, but on Tuesday he announced that he would not do so.

“Bail must be based on the danger it represents to the public, not on the dollars in your pocket ,” Becerra said at a press conference in Sacramento.

A deformity of justice

The decision of the state court of appeals establishes that judges will have to change their old practice of establishing bail in fixed amounts that are determined by the imputed crimes and the background of the accused.

The judges’ ruling does not prohibit monetary bail , but stresses that it should at least be set at levels that the defendant can pay for , unless the judge cites evidence that the defendant is too dangerous to be released before trial.

It also warns of the need to legislate on this “to correct a deformity of our criminal justice system.”

Currently in the legislature of California is stuck SB-10 initiative that for more than a year presented the Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) and Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), which seeks to replace the bail with a supervised release, conditioned and based on a risk assessment of the accused, among other security measures.

This bill has its main opponent in the bond industry, since the companies that dedicate themselves to this claim that money is the best way to ensure the appearance of the accused before the court.

Diane Elliot

Diane Elliot is a seasoned journalist with nearly 12 years experience. While studying journalism at University of Southern California, Diane found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to Coastal Morning Star, Diane mostly covers human interest pieces.

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Diane Elliot

About the Author: Diane Elliot

Diane Elliot is a seasoned journalist with nearly 12 years experience. While studying journalism at University of Southern California, Diane found a passion for finding engaging stories. As a contributor to Coastal Morning Star, Diane mostly covers human interest pieces.

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