California Ends Cash Bail

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"Today, California reforms its bail system so that rich and poor alike are treated fairly", Brown said in a statement, according to The Sacramento Bee. But it faced heavy opposition from the bail industry and some former supporters of the bill, who said significant amendments to the final version would unjustly expand the number of suspects in pretrial detention.

S.B. 10 was created to largely eliminate the money bail system and replace it with a judicial process for determining release.

"It can not guarantee a substantial reduction in the number of Californians detained while awaiting trial, nor does it sufficiently address racial bias in pretrial decision making", leaders of three American Civil Liberties Union chapters in California said in a joint statement. CACJ is entrenched in our pursuit of a fair system that will enable individuals to be returned to their families, employment, and daily lives pretrial. Other states including New Jersey, Alaska and New Mexico have overhauled their bail systems, although no other state has completely eliminated bail.


News 8 reached out to San Diego democratic assemblyman Todd Gloria who just came off the floor in Sacramento to talk about his support of the reform.

Hawaii was the first state in the USA to take this step, committing to 100 percent clean energy in 2017. Officials expect it to fall even further in the coming years. It is too early to determine, however, whether the discretion given to judges in assessing the risks involved in pretrial release is producing inequities in the system. "That this is the best deal California could figure out is a big concern".

California will end the cash bail system in a sweeping reform for the state. Federal courts, of course, don't hear most "street crime" cases. The current money bail system stacks the deck overwhelmingly in favor of the prosecution. SB 10 also introduces a process for the prosecution to file for "preventive detention", blocking the defendant's release pending a trial, if they believe there are no conditions that would ensure public safety or their appearance in court. That's exactly what has happened with the hot-button topic of bail reform, as the full Assembly narrowly passed Senate Bill 10 last week. 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.

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