California To Consider Getting Rid Of Bail For Most Criminal Suspects

REUTERS/Stephen Lam

Kerry Picket Political Reporter
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Two California Democratic state lawmakers submitted legislation that could do away with bail for most criminal suspects. The new bills add to the state’s latest move to provide further protection of criminal suspects.

According to the Associated Press, the pieces of legislation being considered in Sacramento may have county law enforcement officials choose if suspects, based on their threat to public safety, opt to use alternatives to jail such as home detention or monitoring bracelets.

Additionally, if a judge does decide that suspect must monetarily pay for bail for a serious crime the individual is charged with, the amount must be based on the defendant’s income as opposed to an established bail schedule that differs from county to county all over the Golden State.

“It fundamentally transforms a broken cash bail system that punishes poor people for being poor,” Oakland Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta said.

Both Bonta and Van Nuys Democratic State Sen. Robert Hertzberg submitted bills that would put forth a whole new system.

The news of the potential overhaul of the bail system comes as California correction officials revealed last week new regulations that will increase the chances of early release for hundreds of state prison inmates.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation secretary Scott Kiernan reiterated Gov. Jerry Brown’s remarks on the measure, saying the new law is “a durable solution” for prison overcrowding.

“Through rehabilitation, we are creating hope in our prisons by giving inmates the opportunity to change and acquire skills and tools to be productive members of our society once they leave prison,” Kiernan said in a statement.

Additionally, California’s state legislature passed sanctuary state legislation Tuesday that Gov. Brown appears ready to sign.  

The bill, prohibits state and local law enforcement agencies from using any of their resources to help with federal immigration enforcement. Local California law enforcement would be barred from inquiring about an individual’s immigration status or giving federal authorities access to interview a person in custody or aiding them in immigration enforcement.

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