Bail Reform Will Imperil California's Justice System

Law360, New York (May 10, 2017, 11:53 AM EDT) -- With some exceptions, a criminal defendant in the state of California has a right to be released on bail by sufficient sureties. (Cal. Const., art. I, §§12, 28, subd. (e).) Every year more than 300,000 defendants choose to be released on bail in California. However, two bills seek to take this constitutional right away from defendants and replace it with an expensive and onerous pretrial release system.

Assembly Bill 42 and its companion legislation, Senate Bill 10, will abolish the current bail system and instead provide that: “Upon arrest and booking into a county jail, the pretrial services agency shall conduct...

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