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Ed Shaw Law No Nonsense Legal Advice

Local Solutions For Local Problems


by | Oct 3, 2023 | General Law |

I have written before, and, many others have as well about the absurdity of cash bail.  Every day in courts all over this state, and all over the country people are put in jail without being convicted of any crime because they do not have the money to post bail.  I have asked judges and prosecutors at many hearings if they have any explanation as to why someone having access to money would make them less of a risk to the public than someone who does not. Not once has a single judge, or prosecutor answered that question, they have not even tried.  If someone cannot even offer an explanation as to why they are doing something why do it?  Cash bail is asked for by prosecutors, and, ordered by judges only because they have the power to do it, not because it is right, or just.  The end result, we have two systems of justice, one for those with access to cash, one for those who do not.  For those with cash access they will almost always be out of jail while their case is pending, able to continue their regular work and family lives.  For those without cash, they will often sit in jail cut off from their families, almost certainly losing their jobs, their housing, all without being convicted of any crime, without even having had a trial, or a chance to present their case.

The judicial system has shown no interest in ending the cash bail system, or even discussing it.  Fortunately, cash bail can be ended by the state legislature without the court system by passing a law doing away with it.  If the state can show that someone is dangerous they can be kept in jail before their trial.  If someone is not dangerous they should not be in jail until they are convicted.  We cannot allow a system to continue when no one can even tell us why it should.



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