In August 2018, then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 10 into law, ostensibly to reform the cash bail system. However, Before SB 10 could have gone into effect, Californians Against the Reckless Bail Scheme fought the legislation on two points: it would result in the release of violent offenders to the streets, and would kill a $2-billion national industry, as well as the 3,200 bail agents in California. The group collected nearly 600,000 signatures in 70 days to put SB 10 on the November 2020 ballot, to allow California voters to decide whether or not to replace cash bail with risk assessments for suspects awaiting trial.
But risk assessments aren’t the answer, according to 110 civil rights groups, which have opposed the risk tools, including the ACLU, Civil Rights Corp, Upturn, and the NAACP, theAmerican Bail Coalition reports.
SB 10 by Sen. Bob Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), would eliminate bail, which bail bondsmen and attorneys say is a vital tool that ensures people arrested for crimes will return to court for their trials, California Globe reported in April.
Bail are the terms imposed upon a person that such person must meet in order to be released from jail pending trial, the American Bail Coalition explains. When a person is arrested, bail will be set for that person by a judge. In many cases, bail is set by a fixed bail schedule. In most cases, the bail industry saves cities and counties millions of dollars every year by getting defendants to court.
So why are so many politicians trying to outlaw bail? Some politicians and judges claim bail provides an unfair advantage only to those who can afford it. Notably, for low level offenses, defendants are often cited and released, or released on their own recognizance.
Federal Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers, an Obama appointee in Oakland, exemplified this new anti-bail thinking when she ruled the bail schedule is unconstitutional, because she says it is unfair for the poor languishing in jail pretrial because they cannot afford bail.
This is all part of the effort to eliminate the bail bonds industry, under the guise of discrimination.
The bail schedule is developed by judges in each county, which Judge Gonzalez-Rogers ruled is unfair to the poor, thus sheriff’s departments will no longer be able to use (the new conditions are stated within ruling).
At a time when police and sheriff’s departments are short officers, deputies and investigators, what this really amounts to is an announcement to all criminals “come to California and you will be released within hours.”
However, California isn’t the only state attempting to do away with cash bail. Jeff Clayton, President of the American Bail Coalition spoke with California Globe in a recent interview, and said Larry Krasner, District Attorney in Philadelphia, who had promised to fundamentally transform the city’s criminal justice system during the election, dramatically cut the use of the bail industry resulting in gun-related violent crime rising, a demoralized police force, and victims of crimes, their families, and advocacy groups feel betrayed.
And New York just abolished bail for most crimes. “What they’ve done, is people get out of jail automatically,” Clayton said. “The guy who robbed 16 banks but was let out over and over – the feds finally picked him up.”
Passage of these new “bail-reform” laws could put more most bail-bond companies out of business, according to bail agents.
Effectively, New York judges are prohibited from requiring bail of pretrial defendants for misdemeanors and nonviolent felony charges under new criminal-court regulations that took effect Jan. 1, 2020.
If this seems like the definition of insanity, you’d be correct.
San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced a policy in January that will end cash bail for those being released from custody, KUSI reported. “The DA’s office says those being held ahead of their trial will now be based on the risk rather than wealth and poverty. This means people who may be a threat to the community will remain in custody, regardless of how much money they have.”
Chesa Boudin, 39, is the radical leftist activist lawyer, raised in Chicago by Weather Underground leaders Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, recently elected in a special election to San Francisco District Attorney. Boudin was also Hugo Chavez’s trusted propagandist, translator and advisor.
Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders says he’ll follow in Boudin’s ‘no cash bail’ footsteps if he becomes president.
As for California’s “reforms,” these are a few examples of crimes committed by “low level” offenders in California, released under the pretrial risk assessment program. They were let out before seeing a judge, and before bail could be assigned:
- Illegal possession and transporting a machine gun
- Machine gun conversion
- Possession of a silencer
- Transportation of assault weapon
- Manufacture of an unsafe handgun
- Large capacity magazine activity
- Possession of a deadly weapon: short barrel rifle/shotgun
- Forcible rape
- Sodomy by use of force
- Lewd Act upon a child
- Human trafficking
- Sexual penetration with a foreign object
- Intent to transmit sexually transmitted disease
- False imprisonment
- Contributing to the delinquency of a minor
When we last spoke with Jeff Clayton, he said the California Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown knew that these risk assessments were flawed when they passed SB 10, but then immediately followed it up with this pretrial funding request in the budget. They were well aware of the flaws because the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights in the summer of 2018 came out against these risk assessments, as did over 50 civil rights groups in California.
But there was an agenda to fulfill.
“In San Francisco, an individual who was on felony probation, had been re-arrested, then released pretrial based on a judge’s discernment after evaluating the Arnold Foundation tool, later killed a 71-year-old man,” Inside Sources reported. “More than a third of those released in San Francisco as a result of the assessment were either booked on a new offense or failed to appear, according to a study.”
Read all of California Globe’s coverage on bail reform attempts:
Federal Judge Rules on San Francisco Settlement to Eliminate Cash Bail Ahead of 2020 Ballot Initiative