California bail reform bill

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By Iridian Casarez

A new bill was presented to the State Assembly Committee in the state of California that will effectively eliminate the bail system.

The State Assembly’s Committee  voted on the bill, Assembly Bill 42. According to the Los Angeles Times, Assemblyman Rob Bonta and Assemblyman Bob Hertzberg wrote the bill to allow individuals to be released on their own bail and at no cost will await trial. It also gives judges and pretrial service agencies more authority to keep potentially dangerous individuals in jail to await their trial without bail. Pretrial services procedures would assess whether a defendant’s release would pose a safety threat and make sure they show up for their court dates. There is another identical bill from the Senate, SB 10, that will also contribute to the elimination of the bail system.

The bill, AB-42, was written with the intention of making the justice system fairer for people who cannot afford bail, unlike wealthy individuals who can make bail.

According to Mercury News, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is one of the proponents of the bill saying that the reform is long overdue. The ACLU says that too many people wait in jail for their trial because they cannot afford to post bail.

Margaret Dooley-Sammuli is a criminal justice and drug policy director for ACLU of

California.

“We support the bills they’re gonna fix the broken money bail system California has,” Dooley-Sammuli said. “It creates a system that works for all Californians.”

According to Dooley-Sammuli, after the bills get passed from the State Assembly Committee, it gets passed on to the Appropriations committee then goes to floor vote in house. The current bail system determines whether or not a person would get out of jail based on money without using a risk based approach.

According to the Los Angeles Times, there were dozens of opponents of the bill at the hearing including various bounty hunter and bail agencies.

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