Judges may determine a defendant is ineligible for bail, such as in some murder cases where public safety might be at risk.
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"SB 10 puts all Californians on equal footing before the law and makes public safety the only consideration in pretrial detention".
A risk-assessment tool weighs factors in pretrial detainees' background, including the charges faced, prior convictions and a history of failure to appear in court, and then assigns the defendant a risk level based on those factors. Jerry Brown on Tuesday.
California is at the forefront of a national campaign to end money bail that has also recently seen states like New Jersey and New Mexico adopt polices to circumvent the for-profit bail industry, though none had yet eliminated bail completely. The clout of the Californian economy could help spur some other states, such as MA and New Jersey, to do the same.
"Our path to a more just criminal justice system is not complete, but today it made a transformational shift away from valuing private wealth and toward protecting public safety", the law's author, state Sen.
The new law, enacted in response to a state court decision declaring the old system of cash bail an unconstitutional denial of due process, places California at the forefront of one prong of the national criminal justice reform movement, which encompasses a variety of different measures (including most notably sentencing reform) to reduce the human and fiscal costs of unnecessary incarceration.
Some would say a con would be that the bail bonds industry will no longer be needed. Those not eligible for pretrial release will be offenders facing serious violent felonies. Bob Hertzberg, a Democrat from Van Nuys, said in a statement.
"We can expect more defendants who are immediately released to choose not to show up for court, which means that those with a propensity for criminal behavior will be able to practice their trade unimpeded", he wrote in an op-ed for The Sacramento Bee.
The debate continued on social media despite the law being signed. Does it go too far?
The Judicial Council is the policy-making body for California's courts.