The California Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that keeping criminal defendants in jail before trial simply because they lack the ability to afford bail is unconstitutional.
“The common practice of conditioning freedom solely on whether an arrestee can afford bail is unconstitutional,” the tidy 29-page opinion reads. “What we hold is that where a financial condition is nonetheless necessary, the court must consider the arrestee’s ability to pay the stated amount of bail — and may not effectively detain the arrestee ‘solely because’ the arrestee ‘lacked the resources’ to post bail.”
In lieu of cash bail, the court endorses various hallmarks of pre-trial release such as “as electronic monitoring, supervision by pretrial services, community housing or shelter, stay-away orders, and drug and alcohol testing and treatment.”
“No person should lose the right to liberty simply because that person can’t afford to post bail,” the decision reads. “[Humphrey’s] claim joins a ‘clear and growing movement’ that is reexamining the use of money bail as a means of pretrial detention.”
Article submitted by, Darkillusion.