102: Criteria for Setting Bail and Type of Bond
Requires a bond for anyone arrested unless it's their first offense and it's a nonviolent misdemeanor.
This is an effort by the bail bond companies to increase their business by forcing more people to post bond. The initiative process should not be used to increase the profits of private companies.
We have a good, albiet not perfect, legislature (I think in large part due to it being pretty evenly divided). We should not pass initiatives except for cases where the legislature clearly has not stepped up to do its job.
This is unnecessary because pretrial services programs have proven to be an effective method of supervising defendants and ensuring that they appear for trial. The measure also unfairly burdens the poor because it will likely result in poorer defendants being jailed while awaiting trial and wealthier defendants being released, even if the defendants have been charged with the same type of crime. Currently, pretrial services programs address this inequity by providing conditions of release that may be met regardless of the financial circumstances of the defendants. Under Proposition ?, defendants who would be released to pretrial services programs but who cannot afford a secured bond will remain in jail awaiting trial at a greater cost to taxpayers.
Guaranteeing that all criminal defendants are tried in a court of law is a fundamental part of our justice system. Requiring a secured bond from individuals accused of crimes provides an added incentive for them to appear in court, where victims have the opportunity to confront the accused. Taxpayer money is invested in pretrial services programs to ensure that defendants face trial. Therefore, it is appropriate to expect the defendant's own money to be invested in his or her promise to appear, especially when he or she is charged with a violent or sexual crime.
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