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California's Bail System Is 'Unsafe And Unfair,' Study Finds

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

California's Bail System Is 'Unsafe And Unfair,' Study Finds


"The national effort to get states to move away from a bail system based on money — something detractors call unjust and antiquated — got a big boost this week: A yearlong study backed by California's chief justice recommended money bail be abolished and replaced with a system that includes robust safety assessments and expanded pretrial services.

Calling the state's commercial bail system "unsafe and unfair," a working group created by California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye argues that the state's bail system bases a defendant's liberty too much on his or her finances, rather than an assessment of whether the defendant is a flight or safety risk.

"Therein lies the fundamental fairness issue of: Is there a two-tier justice system that is operating here?" asks Martin Hoshino, who heads the Judicial Council of California, which is an advisory and policymaking council of the state's courts..."

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