California's chief justice gives bail reform a boost

AP News
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Posted: Oct 25, 2017 12:05 AM
California's chief justice gives bail reform a boost

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Efforts to do away with cash bail in California received a big boost when the state's top judge got behind a proposal to end what critics say is a system that keeps poor people behind bars while wealthier suspects can pay for their freedom.

California Supreme Court Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye (ta-NEE' kahn-TEEL sah-kah-OO-weh) said Tuesday that instead of cash bail, the state should rely on assessments of defendants' danger to the public to determine whether they should be released.

The proposal endorsed by Cantil-Sakauye is contained in a report by a group of judges that concluded the state's cash bail system "unnecessarily compromises victim and public safety" and "exacerbates socioeconomic disparities and racial bias."

It would require legislative approval to go into law.