Bail

California Voters Will Decide Whether They Want To End Cash Bail Once and for All

Bail bond companies fight to protect their industry, while some civil rights groups worry the reforms won't actually reduce pretrial detentions.

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California voters will decide this fall whether they'll embrace a criminal justice reform movement to stop using cash bail to determine whether people who are charged with crimes remain detained in jail.

Complicating the vote is an unusual coalition of opponents: insurers and bail bond companies that would lose their businesses entirely and civil rights and criminal justice groups who fear that the solution may end up being worse than the problem.

Proposition 25 eliminates cash bail in California entirely. Instead, people who have been arrested would be assessed for risk and released under various monitoring conditions. If deemed an unresolvable flight or public safety risk by a judge, they would be detained in jail until at least an arraignment.

The goal is to create an environment where access to money is not what determines whether a person remains in jail (or not) prior to his day in court. The goal itself is laudable—demanding money as a condition of freedom often has the impact of punishing people, particularly poor people, simply for being charged with a crime regardless of guilt or whether they are convicted. Cash bail often requires that these people and their families turn to bail bondsmen to cover the costs, which requires paying a percentage that they'll never get back. Otherwise, they're stuck in jail because they cannot afford bail, and studies show that folks in this situation often end up accepting harsher plea deals and receiving longer sentences than those who are able to contest their charges unincarcerated.

California's legislature actually already passed these very reforms that eliminated cash bail in 2018; S.B. 10 was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in August of that year. But then the bail bond industry bankrolled a successful signature-gathering effort to push the reform to a ballot referendum, halting its implementation until the voters decide whether to accept it.

Organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and other criminal justice reform advocates had originally been heavily involved in the shaping of S.B. 10, but in the middle of the process, the state's judges got involved and adjusted the bill so that it gives them much more influence over what happens to defendants once cash bail has been removed. Judges will get a lot more say in deciding what sort of mechanisms would be used to determine who will be freed, how many hoops those people will have to jump through to remain free, and, most importantly, who will remain behind bars. These changes prompted the ACLU and other organizations to withdraw their support for S.B. 10 and oppose its passage. (The ACLU of Northern California did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.)

Dissatisfied California reformers can look to New Jersey, which has eliminated cash bail, as an example. In that state, judges still decide which people who have been arrested can be released, but the system simulates an adversarial court environment where a prosecutor presents the argument and the defendant is represented by an attorney. The pretrial courts operate on the presumption that the defendant will be released; it's up to the prosecutor to make the case that a defendant is dangerous or a flight risk.

California's proposed reforms give judges more leeway in release conditions and pretrial detentions, so many reform advocates believe this will not result in more defendants actually getting released from pretrial detention. Imagine a situation where a judge won't release you under monitoring conditions, but you cannot put up money as a bond and promise to return to court. The big fear is that California's bail reforms could actually leave more people behind bars.

Proposition 25 has resulted in an odd split between California's Democratic political power structure and many of its progressive activists: The California Democratic Party supports its passage, as do many of the state's top unions and prominent politicians. Meanwhile, the California wing of the NAACP has come out against Prop. 25 and Human Rights Watch recently called for voters to reject the measure.

Alice Huffman, president of California's NAACP, said in a statement that the courts will "be even more discriminatory against African-Americans, Latinos and other minorities. Computer models may be good for recommending songs and movies, but using these profiling methods to decide who gets released from jail or who gets a loan has been proven to hurt communities of color."

Her criticism refers to the use of risk assessment tools to help advise the court system on pretrial decisions. In New Jersey, courts use a pretrial assessment tool that scores a defendant's risk based mostly on their criminal background and history of cooperation with the court—it doesn't use demographic factors like race, ZIP code, or employment status. With the exception of age (younger defendants are more likely to miss court dates), the assessment is based entirely on a defendant's past actions.

Opponents of assessment tools broadly fear that biases present in policing will continue to be perpetuated in a system that's so heavily based on a defendants' previous arrests. Proponents, meanwhile, note that these tools are supposed to assist the courts, not serve as a replacement for making thoughtful decisions about release.

It's not yet clear how some of the crime spikes due to this summer's unrest might influence the campaign. The anti-Prop. 25 campaign is attempting to perpetuate the argument that New York's recent bail reforms have led to a crime increase there, a claim that is unsupported by the data.

But the outcome of this ballot referendum is hardly dependent on whose data is better. Bail reform elsewhere has mostly taken place in environments where crime had been trending downward in a way that was easy to perceive and explain. Now, we're seeing a spike in some violent crimes in big cities, particularly homicides and gun-related crimes, even as other crimes continue to decline. While it's not logical to pin that blame on bail reform absent data that links it, that doesn't mean the reform movement won't pay the price.

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  1. “The big fear is that California’s bail reforms could actually leave more people behind bars.”

    I don’t believe this was written with irony.

    The big fear among California’s voters is that not enough people are behind bars–and that will be the deciding factor in whether this ballot measure passes.

    “New crime numbers released Friday from July show a 500 percent increase in robberies involving a firearm, a 125 percent increase in assaults with a deadly weapon, a 100 percent increase in shoplifting, and a 75 percent increase in residential burglaries over the previous month of June 2020.

    —-Bay City News

    August 10, 2020

    https://patch.com/california/sanleandro/dangerous-spike-violent-crime-san-leandro

    Earth to social justice warriors. Can you read me? This is Reality calling.

    1. Doesn’t matter, Ken. Is your name at the top of a check with a bunch of zeroes on it? No?

      But I bet you George Soros’s is. And ‘bail reform’, ‘decriminalization of theft’, compassionate COVID-related prisoner releases, and other hobby horses whipped in these pages by Shackford and others over the last month or two, are what Soros and aligned NGOs and donors want for their money.

      It’s madness. Which is the point.

      1. The whole framing of this is off! The reason we see harsh responses to things like crime and immigration is because when people feel like something is out of their control, they hit the problem as hard as they can with whatever means become available.

        When Californians felt like they couldn’t trust the federal government to control the border, they passed Prop 187.

        When we felt like we couldn’t trust the judges to put people away for a long enough period of time, we passed the three strikes law (Proposition 184).

        This article frames the whole issue wrong. I don’t know that it’s about George Soros, but it certainly isn’t framed from the perspective of California voters who are awash in violent criminals who were released 1) By court order due to overcrowding and 2) Because of the pandemic.

        Why use this tactic at all? If he thinks California voters are sitting around trying to think up new and better ways to keep people out of jail right now, he’s completely out of the loop or, like you said, his primary concern isn’t persuading the people of California as much as it’s some other interest.

        If I wanted to write a piece that was critical of bail right now, the gist of it might be about how the outrageous increase in crime is about court ordered releases due to overcrowding and pandemic related increases. I’d be trying to persuade people that the outrageous releases of violent criminals in California over the last year have nothing to do with cash bail, and that California shouldn’t be holding non-violent people in jail for not being able to pay–when they’re releasing violent offenders for lack of space.

        That’s a legitimate argument. Why pretend that we’re living in a fantasy world where Californians are trying to think up new and better ways to keep people out of jail–when releasing violent offenders for lack of space and because of the pandemic appears (among other factors) appears to be fueling an out of control wave of violent crime?

        Like you said, maybe it’s a big donor. Maybe it’s just a case of someone wanting to believe something so badly that it they can’t see what’s really happening.

        1. It is that the staff’s entire social life and families are leftists and all their future job prospects depend on toeing the leftist line. It is social pressure and careerism mostly.

          1. I can see one or a few articles on bail reform being published here. As John wrote elsewhere in this thread, at first glance, it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. Particularly if you’ve had the misfortune to ever deal with bondsmen…

            But Reason for at least the last few months, has been hammering this issue like a jackhammer tearing up a parking lot. Davis and Shackford among the greatest offenders. Even well after we could see that this whole basket of good intentions had, and was going to continue having, a gigantic array of terrible side effects.

            Good intentions or well-meaning ignorance isn’t believable anymore.

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        2. “…and that California shouldn’t be holding non-violent people in jail for not being able to pay–when they’re releasing violent offenders for lack of space…”

          Oh, and this. One great way to help with jail overcrowding? Is to cut down on the number of things that can send you to jail to begin with. Not by instead letting people out with lengthy histories of bad behavior, so they can go right back to offending.

          The whole thing is seemingly calculated to make John and Jane Q think that they need to solve their problems with crime and criminals, and not let the police handle it like before. Which is a terrible trait to encourage in a civil society.

          1. +1

            We need to address their genuine concerns rather than invite them to live in a world of make believe.

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          2. Why even have laws at all except for violent crime?? If the thug steals your car with you in it, it’s violent but if the thug steals from your drive way it’s not! You still don’t have a car! Allowing theft under $1,000.00 is ok with you as long as it’s not your stuff stolen? Now the thugs just steal right up to the max 3-5 times a day? Why not? No jail! Ultimately with Marxists allowing this to happen Is the crime & until we elect good people vs vote buying politicians it will continue. What % of criminals ever truly rehab? It’s less than those staying off drugs after rehab. The reason for this is continuing to make excuses for these people.
            No jail for a ticket, a joint? No problem but driving without Insurance, DUI, Theft must be prosecuted as well as major crimes. Stop making excuses for bad decisions. No matter what the desired effect of the writer, claiming No evidence that turning criminals loose has caused a spike in all crimes. We the people know better! We see it on TV, We see Thugs bragging about going to jail 100+ times Thanking Bail Reformers for the opportunity to ply their trade whenever, however & on whoever they want. Taxpayers getting hosed & criminals going free!
            Vote for sanity not continued Anarchy!

    2. “New crime numbers released Friday from July show a 500 percent increase in robberies involving a firearm, a 125 percent increase in assaults with a deadly weapon, a 100 percent increase in shoplifting, and a 75 percent increase in residential burglaries over the previous month of June 2020.”

      Except bail is a non issue here. Nationally, the clearance rate (percentage of cases closed by police) for property crimes is under 30% and IIRC, California is below the national average.

      Among all crimes, only murder has a clearance rate above 50%.

      Bail isn’t an issue if no arrest is ever made.

      1. That was my point.

        See where I wrote the following:

        “If I wanted to write a piece that was critical of bail right now, the gist of it might be about how the outrageous increase in crime is about court ordered releases due to overcrowding and pandemic related increases. I’d be trying to persuade people that the outrageous releases of violent criminals in California over the last year have nothing to do with cash bail, and that California shouldn’t be holding non-violent people in jail for not being able to pay–when they’re releasing violent offenders for lack of space.”

        —-Ken Shultz

        Why are we framing cash bail in terms that don’t even address the primary concerns of voters in California?

        Don’t address those concerns and California’s voters will vote to keep cash bail faster than they voted for Prop 187, three strikes, and against gay marriage.

        1. Good! That’s the way it should be!

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  2. Ending cash bail means either letting dangerous people out to commit more crimes or holding people in jail no matter how much money they can put up as an assurance of returning to court.

    Originally, I was okay with bail reform. But, experience has shown it to be a disaster. I was wrong to support it and reason is wrong to continue to support it. Ending cash bail leaves people’s fates up to the whim of tyrannical judges. It allows judges who have an agenda to let dangerous people out on the street and make law enforcement a joke. Sure, some guy breaks into your house and you call the cops and they arrest him. The next day he is out on bail and laughing at you or threatening to kill you if you testify against him. That is what bail reform means in practice.

    And that is the best case. The worst case is the other extreme where judges decide that they are just going to bound you over for trail because they don’t like you or whatever reason and you can do nothing about it. At least with bail, you can come up with the money and get out anyway. But with “ending bail” you are also ending the ability to get out of jail if a judge decides you shouldn’t.

    It was a foolish idea that sounded good until you saw how it really worked.

    1. We kind of know what the elimination of cash bail looks like in practice– even if only on a microcosm scale.

      My city no longer requires bail for any homeless person arrested for a crime. They’re immediately released without question. As such, you have notorious offenders who continue to commit crimes with fifty, sixty, sometimes eighty arrests. Some neighborhoods have seen crime increases of over 30% in the last two years.

      To be clear, this particular system applies mainly to homeless people. If I commit a crime, I’m getting detained and will be assigned bail as normal. But that doesn’t mean you can strike some balance. For a homeless person, on first arrest of a low-level crime, release without bail. If they don’t show up for their court date, or are arrested for subsequent crimes, assign bail or revoke bail altogether.

      1. If you are a homeless person and knew you would always get bail, why would you ever show up to a court date? All they will do is continue the date to a new one, then arrest you and grant you bail if some cop decided to enforce the bench warrant. The only way you could actually go to jail and stay there under such a system would either be to get a home or be convicted. You can solve the home part by just remaining homeless and you can solve the conviction party by just never showing up to court so they can never try and convict you.

        I don’t see how that system is anything but a license for the homeless to commit crimes. What infuriates me about reason is not so much that they continue to support ending cash bail. It is that they refuse to even talk about all of the horrible and absurd consequences that have resulted where cash bail has been tried. They don’t even try to justify the policy or explain away the negative results. Reason’s position on this seems to be “fuck you that is why”.

        1. How in heck is someone with no address not a flight risk? Don’t blame the elimination of cash bail for this, blame the idiots that inverted the risk-assessment process to score some strange political points.

    2. In Humboldt county there is a guy who has been arrested for breaking into cars over twenty times. He gets out in hours and repeats. Two people from southern California were arrested with 1.5 pounds of Mexican heroin and released the next day.

      1. What, exactly, is wrong with being in possession of 1.5 pounds of Mexican heroin?

        I understand the problem with someone repeatedly breaking into cars. Care to enlighten me on how someone else possessing heroin is a problem?

        1. Because until Libertopia is established, the guys trafficking a pound and a half of smack, are the same guys peeling off their rivals’ faces with box cutters, or settling their contracts disputes via ADR by automatic weapons.

          You want them in jail because the Libertarian trope of the ‘nonviolent heroin dealer’ is a myth, and it is a lot easier to warehouse them for their strict liability crimes, than it is to catch them for the other violent, malum in se bullshit they do.

          Of course, the ideal is to legalize it all. I’d vote for that.

          1. I don’t think it’s a myth at all. I’d wager there are a lot of non-violent drug dealers out there, you just never hear of them because they do their business in the dark and make sure they never do anything to draw attention to themselves. Only the stupid ones do it on a street corner where both the police and their rivals can find them easily. This is of course hard to prove, because if they do exist they’re not taking out ads in the newspaper advertising their nonviolent track record of drug dealing.

            Assuming they’re going to be violent eventually and punishing them now for it is an awfully slippery slope, and I’m kind of amazed that it even came up as a “solution” in this comments section. You correctly note that the government is ultimately the source of all this violence, and yet your solution is to punish the individual for nonviolent behavior because punishing them for actual crimes is “too hard”.

            1. I would wager that there are some small time nonviolent drug dealers out there but no one up in the operation is not violent. How could you not be violent? If you are not violent, someone who is violent is going to rob you and maybe kill you. What are you going to do about it, call the cops?

              Any industry that exists outside the law is ruled by people who have the power that comes with being violent and willing to kill.

              1. What are you going to do about it, call the cops?

                They just write it off. John, all these big drug dealers, they write off everything.

          2. “are the same guys peeling off their rivals’ faces with box cutters, or settling their contracts disputes via ADR by automatic weapons.”

            So prosecute them for those crimes! Prosecuting violent criminals for nonviolent victimless crimes instead of violence is nuts – and most gang activity and violent crime since 1920 has been the result of prohibition of alcohol and other drugs. Prohibition creates revenues for gangs.

      2. One of those things is a real crime. The other is made up.

    3. With no bond, everyone’s a flight risk.

  3. Very well, we won’t require you to put up a bond to make sure you don’t run away, but we are going to have to ask that you leave your legs with the clerk.

    Certainly cash bond could use some reforming, just as the whole damn “justice” system needs some serious reforming, but doing away with it all together is going to leave a hell of a lot of people locked up that don’t deserve to be and a hell of a lot of people free who shouldn’t be. This is going to be a mess and you’re going to hear a lot of horror stories about people committing additional crimes while out on no-bail.

    1. The other thing is that the bail companies act as a private police force for arresting bail jumpers. Get rid of cash cash bail, and who is going to go out and arrest the people who jump bail? No one. The police don’t have the time or the resources to track down people who jump bail. They certainly don’t have the time and the expertise combined with the ability to go across jurisdictions the way bail bonds companies have.

      So, the result of this is most criminals will just jump bail and not give a shit. As long as they move to another jurisdiction, they are never going to be hauled in to account for their crimes. At some point, they probably will get arrested for something else and if the original jurisdiction has the money and feels like it, they will extradite them and if the case can still be prosecuted after that time, they might actually face justice, assuming some SJW judge doesn’t let them out on bail again.

      This is the system reason wants to create. It is pure stupidity. Worse, it has been shown to have disastrous results wherever it has been tried. Rather than admit they were wrong and change their position, reason just ignores the facts and continues to support a horrible policy.

      1. “This is the system reason wants to create.”

        No, it’s a story that Reason reported on.

        “It is pure stupidity.”

        Yes, that is a good way to describe your previous statement.

        1. Reason has pushed for ending cash bail for months. It is exactly the system it wants to create. Just because you are too dishonest to take them at their word doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t.

          Your fanboy act of giving reason every benefit of the doubt and concluding they could never support anything bad despite the evidence that they clearly do is fucking pathetic.

          1. Says the guy who sees an article about Reason being critical of Trump’s executive orders and has a full “Obama did it first! Aaaaauuuggghhh!” meltdown, EXACTLY LIKE the Obama supporters who, when Reason criticized his executive orders said “Bush did it first! Aaaaauuuggghhh!”

            I used to respect you, but partisanship has turned you into a retard.

            1. Obama did do it first and set the standard. Every Democrat will do the same thing in the future. So why is Trump expected to play by rules that no longer apply?

              What about that do you not understand?

              And regardless that has nothing to do with my point that you just conceded.

  4. the state’s judges got involved and adjusted the bill so that it gives them much more influence over what happens to defendants once cash bail has been removed. Judges will get a lot more say in deciding what sort of mechanisms would be used to determine who will be freed, how many hoops those people will have to jump through to remain free, and, most importantly, who will remain behind bars.

    If you didn’t see this coming…

    Bail, for all its faults has been a reasonably effective way in dealing with pre-trial conditions and release of the accused for a very long time. And whenever you recommend sweeping reforms of any system, always remember this axiom: It’s much easier to make a system worse than it is to improve it.

    It might be a better proposition to create some reforms within the bail system framework, than to just have the same criminal justice system which everyone is criticizing have the simple fiat power of incarcerating someone indefinitely (until trial) or not at all.

    1. In fairness to the judge, if some guy gets out without bail and does something horrible, chances are the public is going to hold the judge who let him out responsible. So, I can understand why they would want to have more control over a situation where they are likely going to be held accountable for the results.

      Ending cash bail is just creating chaos or judicial tyranny. Reason has had a long lover affair with judicial tyranny. More recently have developed an affection for lawlessness as well. So, it makes sense reason would love ending cash bail.

  5. Meanwhile, reason heroes Portland Antifa is back at it attacking cops and trying to burn down a police station. But I am sure it was a “mostly peaceful protest”.

    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/tyler-o-neil/2020/08/11/portland-antifa-rioters-injure-police-after-returning-to-station-they-previously-tried-to-burn-down-n775036

    1. You mean Trump sent the feds into Portland again?!

      Because there’s no other way to explain why anti-fa would get out of control in Portland again–unless Trump had sent the feds to Portland again.

      1. Reason assured us that the only reason they were violent was because the evil Trump sent the feds in and asked for it or something. Oddly, there seems to be no feds involved here. It is almost like Antifa is a terrorist organization and reason was lying for them or something.

        1. Well, I don’t know why anti-fa is doing this, but I know that Trump must be to blame somehow. Because otherwise, anti-fa wouldn’t go around burning people’s businesses down. If it wasn’t for Trump, they’d be out giving back to the homeless or something.

          P.S. Someone actually said that to me a while ago. She was looking for time off so that she could “give back to the homeless”. I’ve got nothing against volunteering to help the homeless. I used to volunteer in a homeless shelter myself. But I never thought I was giving back to the homeless. They never gave me a thing!

          . . . unless they were veterans. But then I’m not “giving back the homeless”. I’m giving back to the veterans.

          1. Giving back is just a polite way of saying “enabling”. There are so many people more worthy of help than your typical homeless person who is nothing but a drug addict, criminal bum who chooses to be homeless and leech and prey on people rather than work.

            1. I’m more bothered by the idea of “giving back” to people who never gave you a thing. The assumption regarding how I owe somebody something, not because of all the things they did for me but because . . . they’re homeless?!

              Jesus said, “If you have done so unto the least of these, you have done so unto me”, but she wasn’t talking about this within the context of Christianity. She was talking about this in terms of social justice.

              If she wants to “give back” to somebody, and went to school on federal aid–how bout “giving back” to the taxpayers? I could use a car wash.

            2. “Giving back” is based upon the economy being zero-sum. If you are successful then you must have taken something from someone. It’s not like you helped to grow the pie for everyone. No. You took a bigger slice and now you must give some of it back.

              So a doctor who has saved lives and made a lot of money in the process has an obligation to “give back” to the community that he made poorer. An owner of a successful restaurant who has made meals for thousands of people must “give back” to the community who he made poorer.

              That’s the mentality.

              “Giving back” isn’t giving back, because nothing was taken.

              Unless they work for the government.

              Like you.

              1. Thank you for clarifying that.

                I now realize that instead of engaging with her, I should have just said, “Fuck off, Slaver!”

                  1. If she thinks she owes the homeless community because of her success, then she thinks I owe society for mine, too.

                    The appropriate response to that is, “Fuck off, Slaver!”

                    The fact of the matter is that every penny I’ve earned was because the person who “gave” it to me valued the results of my work more than their money.

                    1. No argument here.

                      I don’t give to the homeless because I was homeless.

                      I saw three types of homeless people. People like me who, by circumstance, couldn’t afford their roof but were working hard to find another. In my case my employer shut down the same month my lease came up, and being a cook in my 20s I didn’t have much money saved up. Sucked.
                      Net type were the mentally ill and substance abusers. Giving them money isn’t going to help. I honestly don’t know what to do about them. Institutions were terrible, but living on the streets is too.
                      Finally there were the vagabonds. The ones who choose the homeless lifestyle because of the freedom and lack of responsibility. They can’t be “fixed” because they’re homeless by choice.

                      Anyway, fuck the homeless, and fuck anyone who says we need to “give back” to the communities we made richer through the goods and services that earned us our paychecks.

                    2. That’s what I’ve seen, too.

                      In my day, and in Southern California, there were a lot of kids who got kicked out of the house for various reasons–some good, some awful.

                      I’ve seen a lot of homeless veterans, and I’m in no position to judge them and what they’ve been through.

                      Like I said, I used to volunteer with a homeless shelter, and I would see a lot of homeless families back then who were living in their cars because the economy went bad, they lost their jobs, and they lost their homes. The whole family would come in before chow, and we’d play games with them and such.

                      I’ve got no problem with helping the homeless . . . right up until someone starts telling me I owe them something because I’m successful. I’ve been on my own since I was 14. I don’t owe social justice warriors anything.

            3. People will view that as cruel, but you are correct.

              We have quite a few homeless where I live. We also have a lot of shelters and programs designed to get them back on their feet. The catch? You have to be sober to use those services, if you want to get drunk or high you have to do that elsewhere.

              And yet we still have people hanging out in front of 7/11 begging for money, presumably so they can go get drunk or high. If you value getting drunk or high over having a roof over your head that is your prerogative, but expecting others to fund that decision is disgusting.

              1. People who don’t want to be homeless are not homeless very long. People who are homeless long term are either mentally ill and should be in an institution or are just criminal bums who want to be that way. And we should never allow people to pollute the common spaces by living there. If they are ill and need help, we should have institutions that at least get them off the street. If they are in trouble, we should have social services that give them a chance to get work and get back on their feet. If they are just fucking bums who want to be homeless, their choices should be getting a job and getting off the street or spending their life in prison. Living on the street and begging should not be an option.

                1. If they are just fucking bums who want to be homeless, their choices should be getting a job and getting off the street or spending their life in prison. Living on the street and begging should not be an option.

                  Wow dude. Life in prison for being a bum? Murderers get less than that. That respect I had for you that has been being whittled away as you descend into full Trump retard has just taken another big hit.

                  1. No, time in prison until they decide they want to get a job and get off the street. I imagine that will pretty short order. IF the choice is stop being a bum or go to jail, they will suddenly stop being a bum.

                    You misunderstand what I was saying. I wasn’t saying a life sentence.

                    1. May as well outlaw charity while you’re at it.

                  2. They can always move. Hop a freight, go somewhere that will tolerate them living on the street.

                    If they can’t or won’t afford housing, aren’t willing to comply with charity’s requirements for being housed and clothed, aren’t willing to work: why should society tolerate them living on society’s property?

                    Especially when said bum comes with the panoply of other ills from their lifestyle. They’re not paying for their own medical care. ERs are forbidden from turning them away. They steal to support their lifestyle. Some are violent. Why should a given society have to tolerate that?

                    I don’t support putting them in prisons, because those are expensive. But getting them off the streets? Sure.

                    1. As I said in a post above to Ken, in my experience there are three types of homeless. People who are temporarily down on their luck and working hard to get out of a bad situation, people who have mental/substance issues, and vagabonds.

                      The first group will fix themselves, I have no idea of how to help the second group that causes most of the problems, and the third are mostly harmless.

  6. The big fear is that California’s bail reforms could actually leave more people behind bars.

    No the big fear is that libertarians will be deemed ‘flight risk’ by default and will be held indefinitely. Why are we so self destructive?

    Bail is good. If no one is coming to your rescue then you need to take some time to consider your life choices. You think that only innocent people are sitting in jail? They are the rare exception, and we shouldn’t overturn the entire system for their sake. And even in those cases there are other factors that bail reform won’t address (e.g. ‘mental illness’ which is another case where no one wants to deal with their nonsense and they will end up in jail regardless).

    Bail isn’t a perfect system but it works fine for the most part. The solution to justice system abuses isn’t to reform or defund, but to decriminalize (drugs, sex, etc) and gradually reduce police budgets. And before you publicly accuse me of smoking crack, ask whether that will increase or decrease sympathy for police and the drug war.

    1. If no one is coming to your rescue then you need to take some time to consider your life choices.

      So if you’re socially awkward and don’t have a ton of friends with money to bail you out, then that’s because of life choices? Not everyone is a social butterfly with a thousand Facederp friends and a thousand followers on Instaderp.

      1. That isn’t because of life choices. But life isn’t fair. And trying to make it fair just causes more unfairness.

      2. People who are socially awkward are less likely to commit crimes and anyway often have some very good friends and family. You can make excuses for people but the problem is that people often commit crimes because they have alienated everyone in their life and have no other good options and are in a downward spiral. A few days in jail while arranging bail can actually disrupt that cycle of self-destruction. Again it’s not perfect but it’s better than targeting libertarians.

        Oh they would never target libertarians and free speech advocates? Famous last words – we’ll actually be the first. (Don’t worry they’ll spare the kapos, at least for a while.)

        1. Talk to any criminal defense attorney and they will tell you that some of their clients are better off in jail awaiting trial. This is because they are often drunks or drug addicts such that being in jail is the only way for them to get sober and stay out of trouble. Bail is the worst thing that can happen to some people. Reason lives in this fantasy world where everyone is just like them and refuses to understand that.

          1. Good post up until the last sentence. And I agree with you. Up until the last sentence. Did you even read the article, or just assume that because of the headline Reason wants bail to be abolished? That was a rhetorical question because “the latter” is the obvious answer.

            1. I read the article and it speaks for itself. Reason wants to end cash bail. That means no cash bail and everyone gets out of jail unless a judge has a really good reason not to let them.

              It is pretty obvious you don’t understand these articles. You read them to mean what you want them to mean instead of what they actually do. Why you want them to mean something other than what they are and are so intent on reading them in a way that makes reason look better is beyond me. But that is what you do every single time.

              1. You read them to mean what you want them to mean instead of what they actually do.

                The irony is strong in this one…

                1. No it is not. I just explained to you what the article says and what it means. You have no response to that or any idea why it means anything else other than “nut uh”. It is obvious you don’t read the articles. You have no interpretation or understanding of what they say and seem to have no ability to explain why they say what you think they do.

                  Fuck off and stop wasting my time. Come back when you can make an actual argument and defend your position.

                  1. You’ve become Republican Tony. How far the mighty have fallen.

        2. People who are socially awkward are less likely to commit crimes and anyway often have some very good friends and family.

          That sounds good, but anecdotally I can say I’ve known more than a few people who were socially awkward criminals without good friends and family.

          I’m not promoting or opposing anything here. Just disagreeing about the statement I originally quoted.

          1. If no one is coming to your rescue then you need to take some time to consider your life choices.

            This statement? LOL now you seem to agree with it!

            I’ve known more than a few people who were socially awkward criminals without good friends and family.

  7. Bail is too high. The solution isn’t to simply reduce the bail? Scale it to income?

  8. Speaking of people being prosecuted and made to pay for no good reason:

    “Jeffrey Wall, the Justice Department’s top litigator, told the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that Attorney General William Barr could have made the decision to drop charges against Mr. Flynn based on information that hasn’t been shared with the public.

    . . . .

    He added: “The attorney general made that decision or that judgment on the basis of lots of information. Some of it is public and fleshed out in the motion. Some of it is not.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/justice-department-hints-decision-to-drop-michael-flynn-case-came-from-nonpublic-information-11597164701?

    Pure speculation on my part: Could the John Durham investigation into the origin of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign in 2016 have uncovered evidence that hasn’t been shared with the public yet and cleared Flynn?

    1. I think likely yes. Durham is going to finish his investigation in a month or so and issue his report. My guess is that some of the smaller fish like Storzic and his girlfriend might end up being indicted but the important people like Comey and Brennen and company will not. Durham and Barr are too in bed with the establishment to ever hold an important person responsible. Durham will issue a “blistering” or “strong worded” criticism of the important people but conclude the usual “mistakes were made” and “it is really hard to prove intent on the part of top people” allowing them to walk because important people always do.

      But, chances are someone in the FBI is going to go to jail over all this. And that never happens. So there is that.

  9. Between my county courthouse and the county jail, about half a mile, it’s a solid line of bail bond storefronts. And on many of the side streets as well. Not even a 7/11 or liquor store in sight to break them up. Although there is one tobacco shop.

    Time for the scam to end.

    1. It is not a scam. They provide a service. They are no more a “scam” than payday lenders. I think it is time for dumb asses like you to understand how the system works and how badly it would work without cash bail.

      1. The scam is the system. Yet the bail bond shops are providing a service. But they’re providing services to people who shouldn’t need those services to begin with.

        Sometimes, just sometimes, radical law and orders crackdowns are not the solution. But you don’t give a shit, you want everyone locked up who isn’t you.

        1. “The scam is the system…”

          Arm-waving unless you do a lot better.

    2. Brandybuck
      August.11.2020 at 2:37 pm
      “Between my county courthouse and the county jail, about half a mile, it’s a solid line of bail bond storefronts. And on many of the side streets as well. Not even a 7/11 or liquor store in sight to break them up. Although there is one tobacco shop.
      Time for the scam to end.”

      OFFS!
      I thought you might have actually thought about the issue and perhaps had something to add, but instead we get fucking lefty ignoramus bullshit about how those selling something go to where the market is.
      Stuff it up your ass, you pathetic piece of lefty shit.

  10. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/aug/11/minnesota-group-boosted-by-biden-campaign-staffers/

    Here is what ending cash bail means in practice; letting violent and dangerous people out of jail to commit more crimes and likely avoid punishment for the crimes they do commit.

    Greg Lewin, the interim executive director of the MFF, told FOX 9 that the group’s mission isn’t about the crime but targeting the cash bail system.

    “I often don’t even look at a charge when I bail someone out,” he said. “I will see it after I pay the bill because it is not the point. The point is the system we are fighting.”

    This isn’t about letting nonviolent offenders out of jail before trial. This is about letting all offenders out of jail and ending the criminal justice system altogether. That is what these assholes want. And that is what reason is promoting here whether they know it or not.

  11. Proposition 25 eliminates cash bail in California entirely. Instead, people who have been arrested would be assessed for risk and released under various monitoring conditions.

    How about credit cards, PayPal, or forfeiting some of your SNAP?

  12. Not only will California’s be voting on bail bond reform but they will get to vote for what could possibly be the first woman president from their state. I’m sure Sevo is loving this!

    1. I’m loving your admission that the D POTUS candidate is a dead man walking and YOU are thrilled to vote for him.
      And I’m equally sure you would be thrilled to vote for Newsom in spite of the fact he knee-capped the CA economy over what has turned out to have (supposedly) caused the deaths of 1/2 of 1/10 of 1% of the population.
      Fucking lefty ignoramuses are stoooooooopid that way.

  13. In a society that truly was innocent until proven guilty people would not be held in jail until found guilty. The two things are diametrically opposed.

    1. ^^Well said.

  14. I am okay doing away with cash bail. A judge can keep someone locked up charged with, say, being a serial killer. Lesser charges make no sense to have bail. Two people can be charged with the exact same crime but if one can afford an arbitrary cash payment can be released. Poor? Stuck in jail. Makes no sense. Your access to cash should not be the determining factor.

    1. Agreed!

      1. So are you also sarc or stupidity? Or both?

    2. “…Lesser charges make no sense to have bail…”

      So only killing one person means no bail requirement? Allow me to be the first to thank you for either very good sarc or making obvious the failure of the claimed ‘improvements’.

    3. Sure. Fuck ’em all. Rich and poor alike.

      1. And, of course, you’re assuming that the rich won’t be given special treatment while the previously marginal – those who could afford cash bail but aren’t part of the ‘elite’ – will not be left to rot in jail now.

        But, you know, making that equality omelette means busting a few eggheads open.

  15. I’m not entirely sure what the right choice is. OTOH, I am very confident the citizens of California will pick the wrong one.

  16. There should be no bail for violent crimes period. You stay in jail until your trial or you plea bargain.

    Enough is enough.

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  18. It’s easy to see the inequity of the cash-bail system, but it’s a LOT harder to see how this represents any improvement.
    Paraphrasing a rock-climber acquaintance: ‘Don’t let loose of what you’re hanging on to until you’ve got a firm grasp of the next anchor’.

  19. Bail bond companies fight to protect their industry, while some civil rights groups worry the reforms won’t actually reduce pretrial detentions.

    Well, they can look at other places that have ended cash bail – most of whom simply let the accused rot in jail now.

  20. Unbelievable; a semi-decent idea out of CA? How about leaving the cash bail as-is and ADD an offer for the non-threatening indicted to be tracked by ankle-bracelet-ed instead? I agree with the assertion that the “poor” (which could be innocent) shouldn’t be held financial liable for the systems FU. More CHOICES sounds great.

  21. Yeah, when the next Richard Ramirez comes along and murders 13 or more people they will let him out of jail as there will be no cash bail!
    Richard Ramirez, in full Ricardo Leyva Muñoz Ramirez, by name Night Stalker, (born February 29, 1960, El Paso, Texas, U.S.—died June 7, 2013, Greenbrae, California), American serial killer, rapist, and burglar who murdered at least 13 people in California in 1984–85. He was convicted and sentenced to death but died while in prison.

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