California’s bail system is ripe for reform, some say. Police officers and prosecutors point to dangerous or repeat offenders who pay their way out of jail time, bail agents to the high number of people who jump bail and criminal justice advocates to the hefty fees levied on the poor.
Celebrity bounty hunters Duane “Dog” and Beth Chapman on Tuesday were among dozens of bounty hunters and bail agents to voice opposition to a state bill that would drastically transform the way judges award criminal defendants bail in California.
California could dramatically change the way it pressures criminal defendants to show up for court, doing away with monetary bail for most and taking income into account for others to ensure poor suspects get an equal shot at freedom.
It was an awkward scene for officials of Harris County, Texas, who are defending themselves in federal court against a claim that they keep poor defendants locked up just because they cannot afford bail.