This week, Bernie Sanders has introduced a Bill that will seek to end the requirement of cash bail in criminal matters. The effect of requiring cash bail in our criminal system is that people who can afford to pay remain out of jail while their case is ongoing. People who don’t have the money, stay in jail while their case is pending. Some of the alternatives would include the use of electronic bracelets with GPS monitoring.
Consider for instance that you have two people, one rich and one poor and they are both charged with similar crimes. When they are arraigned, they each have a bail hearing to determine if they will be held pending trial. The judge orders similar bail for each person. Let’s say $15,000.00. Guess what? The rich person gets to be free and the poor person sits in jail. It doesn’t seem right. The original logic behind bail is that if a person has to put up a large sum of money, they are not likely to make a run for it as they would forfeit the bail money if they did. And I get that. And I get that some crimes warrant people being held irregardless of how much bail they can pay. But I think it’s really important to level the playing field here. What say you?
Here’s the link to the article about the legislation: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jul/25/bernie-sanders-cash-bail-bill-seeks-to-end-modern-day-debtors-prisons