The bill to reform/destroy the bail industry in California by annually revising statewide bail schedule and set the bail amount closer to the charged person’s ability to pay, Senate Bill 262 by Senator Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles), has been taken off the inactive list in the last days of the 2022 legislative session and is now eligible to be voted into law.
As one bail agent told the Globe, “Hertzberg wants to rid California of every Bail Bond Agency. Cost to CA Taxpayers will be astronomical, not to mention all the jail overcrowding.”
Sen. Hertzberg pulled SB 262 last fall after a “homeless” transient guy out on the streets despite his recent parole violation, raped and murdered downtown Sacramento resident Kate Tibbitts, in the Land Park neighborhood, killing her dogs and setting her house on fire,” the Globe reported.
The “transient,” Troy Davis, had been recently released from prison early, and was let out in a zero bail release after getting caught stealing a car. Davis was also caught masturbating on a front porch in the same neighborhood, through their RING security camera, a neighbor told the Globe.
Tibbitts’ murder, as well as many other violent crimes across the state involving people let out on zero bail, quickly turned the tide against the bill. While Hertzberg was adamant that his bill would have kept people like Davis in jail, California District Attorneys vehemently disagreed.
“He was released on ‘zero bail’ after committing a new felony despite having prior convictions and prison time for multiple violent felonies,” Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reiseg said.
“None of these appalling crimes would likely have occurred had this person been behind bars where he belonged,” Vern Pierson, then-president of the California District Attorneys Association said in September 2021. Pierson said the shocking murder was just the most recent example why the Legislature should reject Senate Bill 262, an overhaul of the state’s bail system, scheduled for a vote on the Assembly floor later this week.
“Worse, the bill would allow an offender with one or more prior convictions for felony offenses, no matter how recent those convictions, to be eligible for zero bail.”
“You could drive a semi-truck through the loopholes in SB 262—all of which will put more dangerous criminals back on our streets. It’s past time for our elected representatives to put the rights and protection of law-abiding Californians ahead of reckless, so-called reforms like those contained in this bill,” Pierson said.
Senator Hertzberg has amended the language of the bill and what remains would be devasting to the bail bond industry in California, the bail agent said. “Refund of Premium. Premium, less 10% of amount collected, must be refunded, if charges are not filed against the arrestee within 60 days of arrest. Refund of Premium. Premium, less 10% of amount collected, must be refunded, if the case against the arrestee is dismissed. No fees to the court. Arrestees will no longer be required to pay court fees associated with conditions of release on bail or on O.R. If enacted, SB 262 will increase jail crowding and costs taxpayers millions of dollars.”
A woman in San Francisco shared with the Globe her crime experiences:
“This will give rise to all crime and more victims. As an elder Asian woman, I for the first time in my 75 years fear for my own safety! Things have gotten so bad in the Bay Area that I do not wear my watch, jewelry and carry a cheap purse.Couple of weeks ago, one of my best friends was assaulted from behind. He was walking next to his home, an unknown person hit him from behind, hit his eye, knocked him down, kicked him… breaking his clavicle. Days after that, an Asian female dentist was shot and killed. She parked … a car pulled up in the street to rob her, 3 shots rang out and she died. No accountability, no justice! This SB262 will make things worse!”
Sen. Hertzberg may have forgotten about Kate Tibbitts’ violent and brutal murder, but Sacramento residents have not. Nor have San Francisco residents forgotten about the violent crimes, murders and brutal attacks taking place daily.
Is his goal is to put more dangerous criminals back on our streets? As DA Vern Pierson said, “It’s past time for our elected representatives to put the rights and protection of law-abiding Californians ahead of reckless, so-called reforms.”
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