The bail system in place across most of America’s states and localities is patently unfair on its face, penalizing poor (and disproportionately minority) defendants who cannot afford to pay their way out of jail while rewarding others with the means to win their freedom as they await trial.
After failing to pass legislation this year to reform California's bail system – which many say keeps people in jail just because they can't afford to buy their release – legislators, the governor, and the state's top judge have announced that they'll work together to craft successful legislation.
The authors of the recent Marin Voice op-eds, “Bail reform for equal treatment for all” and “Look before you leap on bail reform bill,” discussed how a proposed bail reform bill (SB 10) would affect California at large, but ignored the strides Marin County has made toward a progressive and safe approach to bail.
Less than a year after New Jersey established a sweeping new law that all but eliminated cash bail, the state has found itself facing a challenge familiar to others that have overhauled their bail systems: an energetic legal attack from the bail industry.
Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil Sakauye, in her annual address to the Legislature, outlines the judicial branch's progress and touches on issues of fair and equity in access to justice. View transcript + video